Egyptian Sonnet

by Mike Alexander

The tempers in the city square grew hotter
with every word, & when a chador’d daughter
threw something at a soldier’s head, he shot her;
where can we go to wash our hands in water?

A simple scuffle broke into jihad;
newscasters saw the left hand of Mossad
in every shadow of the house of God —
where can we go to wash our hands in blood?

The bodies of the just & the unjust
lay side by side. Our ears could not adjust
muezzin song against our own disgust —
where can we go to wash our hands in dust?

Then, maghrib wind washed clean the desert sands,
our battlements, our histories, our hands ...


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