Barkas III

This poem is written in the shadow of a chilman
I'm behind this screen sitting with Jameela's cousins
In a dalan on a tattered mat
The wife will cut a cock without discarding her pious scarf
Like in a Sajid-bin-Mohammed sketch
She will go out into the rainy courtyard
Call to her neighbour to bring us tea
Whose cheek-by-jowl houses also open out on the same courtyard
The young boy, an innocent image of his father
Perched on his childhood tricycle will contemplate a new world
Suddenly from the rain a beautiful stranger will appear
He will stand drenched in the rain at the door
Neither entering nor leaving / dripping water from his smouldering body
Slats of rain fall between us
To the bamboo screen is added this veil of water
The Screen of memory:
    Obliterates the whisper of Jameela's sister-in-law
    They sell daughters in Barkas in order to survive.

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