Desert Flowers Behind
Found her at Starbucks, laughing.
In the heat the boys parade, wilting--
somehow she’d found a marigold for her hair,
full, ripe, the day the sun melted.
Outside it’s hot enough to split bricks
yet she wears her hair down,
curving around the marigold.
Black hair, black eyes, black Gucci bag--
sun-magnets. Arabian skin the colour of the desert
after you’ve looked away from the sun.
She sips iced coffee, untouched by summer,
giggles at the sweaty boys strutting
the sidewalk below. Perhaps the heat
will burst her; perhaps she waits for fertile rain.
Arabia in June, where chaste desert blooms
cool their ovens behind air-con glass
while snakes and scorpions
burn their bellies waiting for winter.