as you culled your errands down the street,
your feet had warped the leaves that ran
beside your curling steps, and the wind
was tied like ribbons to your hair.
you had gone home nearing six o’ clock
where the mosque and church were stood,
you had lent your pennies to the street,
you had crossed the road where temples meet,
you had left this world behind
when you shut your heavy door.
full hours passed the world outside,
and the colours lost their candour.
at the moment that your curtains closed
your spectre ran down every street
from lamp to lamp to sign –
cars were all possessed by you,
bars had called your ghost inside,
and the western steeple mourned.
and for so long this wake went on:
they forced a warmth into their veins
that came from stale draughts, not you;
if to replicate your brilliance, they failed.
what’s the world without your splendour?
what would nations do without your light?
if to replicate your brilliance, they all failed!
and for hours this continued, long,
until your image had dissolved
into galaxies of phosphenes when
the hand was nearing six…
the minaret becomes your voice.
to announce your open door, it cries:
“prayer is better than sleep!”
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