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Of all garments

God blast the veil

it hides the young

and masks the vile

to urge us on.

God blast the veil.


Mayyah’s beauty

After sleep, she is languor.

The house exudes her fragrance.

She adorns it

when she appears in the morning,

Her anklets and ivory,

as if entwined around a calotrope

stopping the flow

in the bed of a wadi,

With buttocks like a soft dune

over which a rain shower falls

matting the sand

as it sprinkles down.

Her hair-fall

over the lower curve of her back,

soft as the moringa's gossamer flowers,

curled with pins and combed,

With long cheek hollows

where tears flow,

and a lengthened curve at the breast sash

where it crosses and falls.

You see her ear-pendant

along the exposed ridge of her neck,


dangling over the abyss.

With a red thornberry tooth-twig,

fragrant as musk and Indian ambergris

brought in in the morning,

she reveals

Petals of a camomile

cooled by the night

to which the dew has risen at evening

from Ráma oasis,

Wafting in on all sides

with the earth scent of the garden,

redolent as a musk pod

falling open.

The white gleam of her teeth,

her immoderate laugh,

almost to the unhearing

speak secrets.

She is the cure, she is the disease...