The land of mosques
with their minarets as ladders up to
the dusty gray sky full of haze
or into the brightness of an expansive blue
with their muezzins on these mosques
calling into the desert
the sand, the pollution
the villages along the way
the mountains spanning many a way.
The land of mottoes on hillsides:
"God, Country, King" spelled in rocks
squiggling across a hillside or
mountainside in the Arabic script,
illegible to me but beautifully formed.
The land of everything not quite the same:
Pringles at convenience stores in
that same cryptic script,
buildings of mud, stone, and straw
but more often the common steel, woods, and bricks
(or even sometimes tents)
of camels, of fossils carved and shined
out of hillsides,
camels for tourists to ride
The land of tagines and tea,
couscous and round bread that is flat,
but not flatbread.
We eventually seek some other food
by the end because us vegetarians are
tired of this stagnant food,
nights on end.
The land of so many countries:
the colonial ghosts of los epañoles and
les français, a little pinpoint of o portugues
in a coastal medina in
a supply for the Romans of yore
with murex mollusks off the shore
in Essaouira for the triumphal togas
of generals and those ruins in some
with those pointy cypress trees
like in Tuscany.
It's funny how different and the same this
Atlantic-Mediterranean-Sahara county is.