Those who walk within confines are men,
those who walk beyond are saints.
No confines for me, no confines
a closed fist is my boundary wall
I can go wherever I want
but in this man’s pocket
I can connect to anyone anywhere
but always under his thumb.
Even when he’s dead asleep
he’ll tuck me under his pillow
listening to the tick-tock-tick of his wristwatch.
The whole night through
quietly I’ll keep all his messages
coming from all over the world.
Those silent messages will glow
in my dark spaces
They’ll glow like the cats-eyes
of my dream-memories:
filed court cases
all the office scuffles
all the rush of unfinished kisses
all the muffled calls
the faint quivers of many a held-in sob all flicker within me.
In me flutter the wounded wings of messenger-pigeons
each feather yanked out and flicked off one by one
once in a while, even a pat on the wing.
No matter how modern the world may be
the expression of love and hate are primordial.
I’m like the roads of old Baghdad
before the American bombings
Parallel to the modern malls
are the old souks and the meena bazaar
glittering inside me
like archeological ruins dotting the heart of the metropolis.