A Poetry Sporadical of Repeating Forms

In Egypt

by Siham Karami

Our night flight lands in Cairo, Queen of Sand,
whose shutters swallow city lights like quicksand.

Your sister serves us gritty sandwiches
of bread—to meet weight quotas—baked with sand.

We squander hours flagging speeding taxis.
I, the wilting comma. You, the ampersand.

I lose myself in crawlspace at the pyramid—
reduced, like any other grain of sand.

Imagine hoisting these huge stones this high.
Imagine labor measured by this sand.

Ocean-years have worn me down to driftwood,
light and bald. How much more will they sand?

Your relatives no longer want us here.
The weight of family ties, the spreading sand.

Meanwhile treasures beckon to young men.
Just keep digging deeper in the sand.

The ravenous light in Cleopatra's eyes
awaits us all, too—coiled, an urge in sand.

This arrow in my heart is made of glass.
And when I die, who’ll sort its pearls from sand?

Siham Karami lives in Northwest Florida where she owns a technology recycling company: nerd by day, bard by night.  Her poems have been or will be published in String Poet, Shot Glass Journal, Innisfree Journal, The Lavender Review, and 14 by 14,  among other venues


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