Raised in an Arabian land of heat, fire and temper,
sometimes the calm of England clamps down
like damp in a bathroom with no window
and a loud, inefficient extractor fan.
The setting is ordinary.
I sit on a bench in a small town square,
looking at a cobblestone floor,
pretending to hear whispered romantic
secret stories in the rain — soft.
The stones sigh an outlandish tale of unrequited love.
I see a young couple squishing themselves together
in front of a music-shop window. The guy rubs
his hands along her bum, loving it.
There is such comfort in roundness.
The shop's display of old music sheets
and DVD screens remains static.
The ground reverberates with the struggles and throes of age.
An old woman pulls her shopping trolley up small steps
with the effort of a Greek hero slaying demons.
And I am lost somewhere
the couple and the woman.
Neither young nor old.
But I have been and I will be.
archive - issue 13