As heat prevented you from keeping doves
you loved a cat instead. She claimed you at
your office door at closing, rubbed her bones
against your pants. You walked on streets that float
on top of sand, your loafers sinking deep
into the day contained within cement.
To whom did she belong, if not to you?
Khamsin about your ankles. Devil of dust.
Translucent as kamarudin, the desert sky
now gentles towards evening while—their sands
already cooling—dunes will slide across
the roads to reassemble themselves there.
khamsin: a dry, hot, sandy local wind, blowing from the south, in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
kamarudin: sun-dried apricot paste
by Claire Zoghb
Editor’s Note: Even imperfect iambic pentameter sounds like music, and sometimes is more pleasing to the ear than the most rigid sonnet.