• Georgina Wyatt


White cloudless skies of my tamarisk city, music pours cardamom-flavoured

from the narrow, crowded lanes; heavy bolts of water

like silk from the pottery jugs; frankincense

and sugary tea; the oleander drying up, the buildings that blister

in the burning welt of sunlight.


The shadows of the kites

are thin and curved, their weight falls on us like dust

knocked off the sky by the wind; the metal drumskin of midday

vibrates. Houses hold captive shadows, dusk gathers in doorways, and smoke;

rosewater for our hands and feet through seasons of stone.


For years we have washed salt out of the soil, picked

stones out of the salt; for years carried the reeking bundles of scent

through the hot pearl desert, seen the faces of strangers, votives

in masks of copper and bronze rippling like water, the mute weight of their feet

on our streets.


Down in the well the cold seep is glossy as silk on

the desert rock, the slow water stirs the wafers

of reservoir stone in the deep, cold hours.