More scorched tiles –
Citrus, rock salt, arbirary clocks.
The homeless sleep all night in the rose garden,
in the shadow of decrepid, phallic worship –
awakened by sprinkler systems and the call to prayer.
Feral cats gorge on chicken feet and entrails and everywhere
the loud Americans exclaim: “You’re so lucky!”
We sweat it out amongst oil paints,
obtuse literature and broken Arabic. Abdoul and Sabbah fast
whilst the white wine warms before our thirst is quenched
and the lotion blinds us.
Everyone is a tourist: fumbling throngs
in bum bags and flip flops and holiday haircuts.
We say, “we’re going home…” but we don’t want to return.
Waiting for the roof-man,
asleep on the kitchen floor:
The Universal Mother.
I wonder how many more times I can say, “I quit smoking…”
before it quits me.
Oh! Marrkech, is it too much to say, “I love you!”?
You are yet to let us down despite
the absence of alcohol and the band not showing up.
We prowl your private courtyards in our pants and
make love in your moonlight. We paint on your sun-bleached terraces
and compose our fragile verse.
The maybe-sparrows chirp and the Palace storks clack
like clenched teeth (at least in our feeble impressions)
Oh! Marrkech, press yourself upon us some more.
We have set our stalls amongst you and dreamt –
often lost for words but blossoming.
Your lips are sweet and soft,
we are complete.
Oh! Marrkech, please accept our flaws and poor attempts at representation
that only further muddied water. We cloud your pools with our potions
and pallid flesh as you cleanse yourself in prayer
we pause –
– and do our best to fit in.
We drop our brushes and clumsy syllabels –
we flop in your heat, seeking refuge and yet you welcome us with an open heart.
Oh! Marrkech, how can we repay you?
“All blacks are not the same…”
So the roof-man arrives (in the silence) and we
“Do what you came to -“
We’ll soon be showered and off to the garden to
pick the candid lemon peel from our teeth
and spit more platitudes at the birds in cages.
Lily’s shadow looms large across the lounge, inhale –
and – “no more pool parties, I guess?”