There is No Desert

“…the country around us is a circle sunk in the mirage.”
–Tayeb Salih, The Season of Migration to the North

Trudging a barrenness
soaked by illusion,

Why is there a projection
upon the air? Tireless dictator
can’t succumb to the desert—can’t.

Underneath the shaping
of haze, underneath meaning
is you tethered to wandering.

But a lizard is a lizard–
the cloak of meaning
makes you more.

The country is projected
upon the haze. It is yours.
It has meaning. It is meaning.

Another culture, the sun,
mingles with its air, dissolves
its definiteness.

Now your country is
transitory: the desert becomes
realer than a mirage.

But the sun’s pressing
can’t be all. There is something.
You walk closer. It moves.

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