1] The Souks: day

The boy with fire in his eye & the quick hands of a thief shuttles us beyond the chickens & lame donkeys to see how wood is seduced
from a block to a box & lacquered & inlaid with silver & stone &

copper is twisted & bent & scored & etched & polished &

the tattooed hands of women & roasted dates which hum against the gums & snakes which bite & monkeys & Iguanas which do not…&

mint tea & honey cakes & a single carpet sixty feet across &

deep in the interior on a darkened street we’re led to the peddler of bones who dances his fingers across a board shuttling skulls & knuckles & toes down the alleys of my life which throb & narrow & glow…

2] The Souks: night

Men. & the aroma of roasting meat & fish fried crisp & boiling pots of broth & cous-cous piled high with diced tomatoes & roasted eggplant & chicken & almonds & onions &

Men. Eager & jostling & eyeing the foreign women who’ve come to see & the air thickens & the air stiffens &

a dozen lanterns create pockets of light where young boys box for money & musicians & singers & some stop for a meal & some for a sweet & the menu is the same & the menu is different &

Men…call you to ‘Come’ & ‘Sit’ & ‘Taste’ & chanting & drumming & you may be tossed from your place & whirled around or running

the dark streets where cars & carts converge & you cannot breathe & cannot remove your mask but dance to the drum with your caftan stained & beard askew & a thin chain that glistens on your neck &… Men…