When I think of night I think of you. Was it as lush as you depicted? Under the creamy green palms, in the crevices of ancient Cairo, the mysterious male bodies, their yellow eyes gazing at you from the crepuscular sky.
Was this your shot-regard? A cinematic take, a seductive glance? An Islamic vision, homoerotic, homophilic, a dream that could only, really, glimmer at night?
Les Jardins de Nil, were they your fantasy? To be resident of the river, to live atop it as you did, in a gently rocking houseboat, for me a battle with le moustique, le pestilence, the liquid excretions of the mother of the world.
My fantasy happened one night in Khan Al-Khalil.
The mosque umbrellas turned icy blue,
against the violet sky;
became rockets, projectiles,
with potential energy.
They were parasols but I didn’t care what they really were.
Their shape against a deep volume,
It happened to me again but this time candlelit;
Lithe male bodies
A marble hammam
Near Ramses Station.
When the electricity cut
Nothing could be heard
But whistles and cowls
Lips and bodies pressing
It was a radial orgy split into five chambers by black iron,
which could only be discerned by candelabra,
Maybe your remains are trapped,
The broken blue ceramics you painted,
Or strewn somewhere between your first and last triptych in Aqaba.
I always searched for you in these anthropomorphic ruins
Left behind by someone’s hands
But I couldn’t find yours
Or your body
Only your confession of a paradise lost.
It is evident in your aquatic skies
Your milky suns.
Tell me about your white, floppy jeans, I have been searching for a pair in Philadelphia which I will never find. Did they better reflect the sun? Or did they keep your body cool, transport you to a resort on the sea?
I find traces of it still
In the uniforms
Fadi told me about your white labcoat
How you covered it in dust to stay dirty from the beginning
On what is left of sanguine history
Men are stubborn as ever
Mustaches have not budged
Heavy and thick forever
It is still the 80s
With Ottoman flashbacks
Everything is in plain view,
Radiant and lazy
Antique, masculine beauty
Byzantine, feminine beauty
But only nocturnal
Life is possible again
Under the palm twilight
In the tropical heat
A summer dust blows
Brings dry sweat
Looms the potential for closeness
When I look at your violet sky we meet for a fast encounter.