(from) Better Than Sleep: Sebah

It’s very hot out here
in the little walled-in yard
behind the bar
in the afternoon
Will be cooler
when the call to prayer
floats down
Allāhu Akbar
in the distance
Allāhu Akbar
Ash hadu Anna lā
Ilāhā Illa ‘Llāh …

The tortoises, troglodite
burrow in under me
squirm in deserting
chicken-bone-strewn caves
between the dustbins
eager for company

Sebah:
“Un de ces jours,” she said when we kissed. Ah oui,
un de ces jours …

A square of sky
a throbbing sun
a humming dustbin
bottle and still life yard

If it weren’t for the tortoises
I’d sleep
them and the flies

Would talk to the trees,
were there any trees

Un de ces jours …

A cockroach on a dustbin rim
a cucaracha was to her
a dirty cafard, nothing more
my Little Jim

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