I was thinking about you the other day.
It was a day I heard that there was more death,
more scattered limbs in the market,
more silence blowing like dust
towards the mountains.
You said you felt safe, that you were safe,
and besides, who cares about an old man
in this place of centuries.
You are needed more there than here,
where everyone is the same,
where everyone goes about their lives
not caring if the neighbor’s horse died the night before,
not caring if the neighbor died.
There, every death of every thing is large,
it matters when people leave.
It mattered when you left.
So please write to me,
and let me know:
what is it like when our same moon
drops behind the mountains,
washing the hills with blues and apricots
fading to purple and dusk?
What sounds do the markets make at noon,
the vegetable sellers, the man with the goats,
the grapes all vineyards would envy,
the wooden boxes of cardamom and mint,
of coriander and saffron
rich as robes, bold as brocade?
How quick were the fine hands of the butcher,
his slender fingers so sure with a knife,
and the whetstone he keeps in his pocket?
What do their eyes see when they speak to you,
to a man who chooses to sing his halting songs
in a foreign land?