Avoiding the stark beauty of you I lower my gaze. Walking into this Technicolor commotion of firehot candy, toub wearing transitionally young ladies, these porcelain beauties: painted eyes, angled brows, listless skin, spun silk, cherry lips, and a gaze outlined with kohl, finely entwined with a longing. I smirk at the constant dancing of toubs slipping, readjusting, bending like the elegant reeds that once grew in abundance at the outskirts of the Nilevalley, a vain river that has lost its immensity as those young ladies eyes, having realized that the magic of wooing, pleasing, that imminent high with its down lows has gone missing. I sit back to observe, appreciate the unfolding… four steps to my right stand the triplets in clutters lining the walls, stroking their beardless chins as they widen their grins at blushing naïve teens, much older than they need to be: grownup talk, grownup walk, grownup dress, days are gone of running with torn jeans, climbing trees, but now instead, lose their heads on nonsense, giggle and give sneaky, stealing glances, masking the pain with his amused careless look, hand insanely shook as mothers size and weigh his worth, readying the games huntresses hard at work, re/deconstructing their daughters priorities, transform into mindless marriage-crazed zombies, set their sights on them much older boys, lounging at tables, whole body structure speaking boredom, face outlined with the worry, ‘son find a suitable bride, settle, give me those grandchildren’, as they blatantly ignore the yearning invitations of born and raised, here for the holiday, too good (or they just don’t know) to only speak to you in English broads dressed in the latest fashion, ever plunging necklines,
your scarf just slipped I can see your bra line, silly me, you meant to entice, go on with the routine of catching your husband to be… and over there they sit and snicker, hijab wearing yet immodest in the presenting of their bodies, revealing much more than skin, backbiting with grace, venom they speak with a smile on their face, and they tear that pretty girl apart, the one that was approached by the apprehensive young man who finally worked up the courage to introduce himself, accepting his handshake awarding him with a genuine smile that just pleased his heart, and in silence the older generation sit as I do, remembering, gauging what sort are we, young men and women, what good will we bring to our country, restore it to it’s old glory? Babies cry as they rub their reddened eyes on their mothers shoulders, as she tries to dance and enjoy this one song, husbands massage their toughened beards as they gather and listen to what the ‘man with the connections’ has to say of the upcoming days: higher prices, tougher living, continued failure of this so called ‘government’, troubled for the future look he gives to his napping baby girl, 7abooba is holding her tight, her sleeping face resting on her lap as she gives gentle ministrations, weathered hands smooth her poofy pink crinkled dress, loosen her granddaughters glittering bows in her braided hair, and what a smile… Looking up I catch the gaze, not a second too late and it would’ve been too late because it would’ve been missed…the fleeting gaze.
I latch onto it, not wavering one bit, take my time as he does with mine. Not a smooth face, but it has laughing lines etched into it. Not a full smile, but with time it could ease into a stunning one. Standing up I weave among the crowd, get lost in the sound, echoing, bouncing; Salams, small talks, hearty laughs, whispered scandal. Merry-go-round, our locked gazes circle as I sway to the music. And you’re sturdy body moves next to mine, politely leveling your head nearer, you say…
‘I’d like to get to know; the sprinkle of shamat on the smooth sides of your face, your so called imperfections that I wish to trace, the loosening of your spine when I lay my hand to the small of your back, that lip biting grin when I catch you staring, the two burning spots on your cheeks when I know your ‘thinking’, that resigned state you reach coupled with that faraway look when contemplating, the small creases on your forehead as you concentrate on reading, that silent sense of content that we’ll make, the words that I’ll never have to speak, the goose bumps on your flesh when you hear me, the pleasure written on your face as that heady affect of my scent plays havoc in your head, those long fingered, nail bitten, sometimes clammy but always soft hands that calm as I rage, the patience… with me, yourself, mankind and that dazzling, limitless smile that you commit…. Allow me to introduce myself…’
Stepping back I let loose one of my carefree smiles, letting the doubled beat move and push through the crowd… stop the gossiping, infighting, pause the worries, the speeded up need to be so grownup, the obscene absurdness of ‘living it up’, and as I turn around to you and only you we dance… blushingly bringing up my gaze to satisfy the hope in better days.