Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Bridges and Dust

Once again I'm sweeping up the crumbs
left behind by scurrying feet
sometimes I get lost in a swirl of dust

remembering the gritty wind
from the brick factory
and that woman in the courtyard

her hair was cut short and square
she wore outmoded Soviet-style lipstick
she did not smile, she did not frown
her face, a mask,  flickered
while our children frolicked in the sand box

she was the Afghan wife of a Russian officer
we tasted the sand in our teeth
while the wind whistled between
twelve-story cement towers
that's how our friendship went

never did tell her where I was from
we hardly ever talked at all
but we were different than the others

who smoked like sailors
dressed like movie stars

we were bridges to a culture
that was slipping away from us
you could say, bridges to nowhere --

after the time in a Moscow hospital
I cut my hair square and short
dangled myself and the wash out to dry on the balcony
tried to lose myself in the whirling dust

but it wasn't my time yet
not yet -- not yet --

while I still can, I say it's a time to build bridges
but there's so much sand in our eyes
too much blood spilled
too little trust --

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