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Adele Ne Jame – III

Unveiled into that Desert

                                            after Ghalib






After the pleasure of grape tomatoes and

heart of palm, the sweet

forgetting of an icy bottle of Moet—


Keiko Matsui’s  Bonfire in the Piano

gets to me— so loud in the orbit of

the wind around us out here—


in the failing sunset

over the marina’s gold, over the water’s

gold shimmer.  I say to you


caught up in the moment and

almost as if young again–

dance with me Frederic—oh please!


and against your deadpan stare:

come on darling, just once around the porch–

you know—the way we did at Hula’s that time.


But you, old man, bare chested,

still handsome wrapped in your fuchsia

pareo with gold horses– won’t budge


from your chair, or the inconsolable

loss of Paris no going back

will ever ease.  Even as I walked


under the broken Wai’anae kiawe

alone for a long time.  Emptiness takes us

into its craving, Ghalib says. Even so—


there is this pull of music,

this gold water, fragments too

if we want to remember– of Dubai


the brilliance of another sun

that spread its red-gold heat for us

over the sprawlling desert sand—


magnificent in its repetition of light.

And the Jumeriah sea, the current swirling

around us during the evening call to prayer.


Those bunches of white stargazers. Such perfume!

and your dark ephemeral power

I let wash over me like the surge of


the Arabian sea—almost as if there could be

a reprieve from this losing that happens

no matter what—   I wish you had the patience


for the story of Majnoon, the ancient

Arabian lover who loved with such conviction

his friends thought him mad and gave him up.


When he wandered the streets

children mocked and threw stones.

Some say, as with Lear, his knowledge came from


madness. Don’t go unveiled into that desert.

Every grain of sand there is an atom of desire, 

the poet says— even as he throws off his garments


and walks headlong into the sun. 

So I let all the words go

into the failing light, the burning horizon


that would take us into its silence and

pull you close to me,

feel the weight of your disappointment.


Our breathing together now

like a small death or like a water prayer,

that might save us one more day, if we let it.