Songs on a Visit to Your Homeland
Sand bending, noon sun heavy,
the market sleeps;
in shade of a thorn tree,
your breath, my Ramadan feast.
From the mist, Kilimanjaro announces,
like the bull elephant's ears' warning,
how silence walks, an Msee.
More than feasts of fresh-slain goat,
more than rainy-season hibiscus,
more than night creatures' listlessness:
how you lean against the Baobab tree.
I will not sleep tonight.
Pearls of sweat roll across my temples;
the air is pungent as camel's milk.
This heat, and you
coming to stand in my doorway.
Note: Msee is Swahili for wise elder