It means a walk with Nauf up a carpet like new-mowed grass
jeweled by flood lights to swathes of sapphire, emerald,
ruby and amethyst. What a fantastic adventure
you say again and again. She carries her stilettos
in her right hand, her left arm is in your right arm,
her warm palm, slender fingers with blood red
talons pinch at your wrist.
You step under the fan palms into the pavilion,
impossible how canvas has been painted, a mirage,
into moonlit arched windows, broad Arabian doors.
Inside the light is submarine blue green.
You are swimming in it and Nauf leans
against you, straps on those golden heels,
dissolves into the currents of tranced dancers,
the taut spaces between copper bodies and crimson
lips, straight raven black hair, to la Muse Orientale.
A Filipino in white linen brings you Scotch and ice.
Men in Armani, thin, shaved heads and closely trimmed
beards stand by a long table, eat sushi flown air express
from Tokyo, strab with their chopsticks.
You turn to see your peregrine, cruel Nauf, she
who has returned to size with narrowed yellow eyes
the table, to choose and seize her prey
in curves of silk Parisienne and Mareno Milanese,
blue smoke of Cubanos.
Michael Dennison is a poet living currently in North Lebanon, near Tripoli, teaching creative writing and British literature at the University of Balamand. Previously, he taught for several years at the American University of Beirut. He has published poems in several journals including Rusted Radishes, Drunken Boat, International Poetry Review, Frank, Van Gogh’s Ear, Slate, etc., and also a book titled Hamra Noir, a selection of Beirut poems, in 2010.