A Soldier from Oman: Indians in Dawn’s Light

From A Man from the Empty Quarter (Beirut 1994) By Saif Al Rahbi (1956- )

This moment rolled upon itself
Like ruins of a decayed body,
As usual
I can’t glance at the morning’s face (It has lagged behind.)
Before the window,
Out flow Indians
Carrying Buddha’s coffin
Washed in the Ganga,
Waiting like me
For another day
But with peace and a sacred death.

Indians,
Strangers, without shadows or faces,
The pain of search for bread and song.

Soon they’ll rest from the funeral
In the neighbouring tavern
Where a dancer wriggles, feeding her bosom
With an imaginary lover,

They dream till the end.

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