Life and War with Mikey Fatboy Delgado
Thursday, July 31, 2014
 
Letter




By day we wait for war again. We listen
 for radio items that make no sense: for lists,
numbers, archaic words and usages…clues
to the call-up of reserves. We walk barefoot
to the supermarket, watch lovers inflaming
each other. We imagine those women turning
to catch us peeping as they wave their men off to war.

At night we sit on the flat roof listening
to the distant sea. How the noise of the daylight hours
disrupts the senses. Late at night when it’s quiet
we can smell the ocean from here. We can taste it
on the salty breeze. We have learnt to say omelette,
matches, the time, because the women here are beautiful,
slowly, I don’t understand.

 
The English-language newspaper writes often
of terrorist incursions in the north. We imagine
Bedouin trackers and their private photographs
of dead fedayeen lined up like fishing trophies
between the smiling hunters. We debate the foolishness
of travelling to the border to buy matchboxes full of kif,
 and we go just the same.

We communicate with Galilean Arab girls there in nods
and smiles. They reward our earnest attention with golden-teeth grins
 and we wonder about their strong thighs, and what if things
were just different enough for them to yearn to come into the trees
with us, or for us to slip into their lives as serious prospects.
 On the train back south we talk of how the death of Elvis shook us,
even though none of us can stand rock and roll.

We talk of how we might extract the morphine from Diocalm.
We talk of the wonderment of Fantasia on drug-addled senses.
Catching our drawn faces reflected in the window between us
and the night I wonder what the oldest Arab girl, beautiful
with those heavy breasts beneath her embroidered Bedouin dress,
must have thought of us today, as we sat at the roadside café
guzzling the cheapest red wine, bleary-eyed, bullshitting.




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