Upper Stratum - II
(The Cruel Region)

I wait for you
in lush shades
with no flowers or green water
while you hurry in the streets
of consequences unaware
vainly trying to construct order
and instead you are sent
on journeys and to places
from where you return exhausted
dissipating your illusion
about a city that is not yours
and I remotely sense
how you lose
the substance of your beauty
and even your skin you leave it
abandoned at a street corner
but now
this last hour of the day
is the only hope you have
but then in your vision you see
how your face incinerates
as you lay it down on the pillow

Anwar Al-Ghassani
Thursday, Jan. 29, 2004