Five Crosses

We stopped in five stations and did not leave a souvenir.
We did not shiver there, or get drunk, or strum a guitar.
Five rivers of sand on the guitar.
Five crosses made of silence:


You are sad;
I wipe the dust of the broken world off your eyelashes.
You are naive;
in our desert you are hoping to set sail.
You are tired;
your hair spreads shade between wakefulness and rain.
You are alone
as if we never shivered, or got drunk,
or strummed a guitar.
Bitter thirst on your lips, journeys in your eyes,
you are a dark sapling
flowering in the dark.
I touch my voice when I touch your leaves.


O five stations without a souvenir . . .
O five rivers in a guitar . . .
O five crosses made of silence . . .


Do not leave me tonight crucified on the walls.

Basra, November 11, 1961