a star called Tantoura,
Aramaic graffiti undulates with
ancient testaments: I was
here. Now I’m gone. Strange
how this soft wind becomes sharp,
shears sandstone, blasts mountains
into fragments. Camel’s teeth, birds’
wings; iron pegs turning, secure.
Supple earth, gentle fronds of palms
swell and thrive. How many cities
lie beneath us, here? Have these
stones birthed other worlds?
I am small, like rumal to hassaa;
hassaa to sakharat ; sakharat to
jabal. I measure myself with what
I can fit into my palm, and how much.
Our small khayma, brass kettle,
new canvas, old campfire:
I can still taste the rain in Al `Ula.