I have ventured outside today,
Outside of my new cave of wonders
Of safety of now familiar smells
Which I have painstakingly applied
During the last shower.
Perhaps sitting out here
Cross legged and bare shod,
Out here in the breeze and thick air
Will be the bravest thing I do today.
For me that is good—
Perhaps not enough, but still good.

This is a place where you
Can take off your shoes and
Wear the same thing every day
Not bothering to brush your frizzy hair.
For me that is good—
And more than enough.

The call to prayer has cradled
Me twice today, and although
My ear cannot recognize the vers,
It makes me feel as if I were back in Morocco.
I tell myself: these are the streets
Of Marrakech and Chefchouen—
Sans all the blue.
My body stops pulsing so much
After I tell myself this,
Because I’ve been here before
So of course I’ll survive.

Around me the geckos dart
And the frogs sweep each other off their
Squishy little feet
Dancing around the lilied pond.
The mosquitos are not strangers
To my sticky skin,
And for some reason
This does not bother me,
We seem to become friends
As I sweep my hands over my legs
And disrupt their perch.

The air has grown so thick
That my hair is an ocean
Rippling and twisting and dancing
Garnering the breeze to free itself
From the dampness of my forehead.
In the distance, past the glowing mosque
I see the dance of lightning and the lullaby of thunder
And I know that soon
The patter of raindrops will be heard
On the clay rooftop above me.

But here I am safe and secure and sound,
Rested and hydrated and fed.
My room which is locked smells like
Lavender and jazz
And I have met no one and nothing
But tan smiles and rooster calls.
Today I am brave
And tomorrow I will be brave
And for the rest of the month and the one after that
I will be brave.
My reality is but
My perception of what is real
And today I am brave.


The reader brings his or her own experience to the poem and creates meaning. Here is my experience.

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