Saturday, 13 February 2016

Beautiful poem set in Morocco. It just shows how difficult life is for gay people in this country.
Poem set in Morocco
Abdelfatteh
by E. A. Lacey
You put your hand on my shoulder
and n'aie pas peur you said.
Hot windless night. We were watching
a street-fight in Marrakech.
You smiled at me, young hill-boy
(who thought that you were twenty,
but you just might have been 18),
and you showed two broken teeth.
We drank tea on the corner,
where you taught me Arab letters,
and somehow we went to the hammam,
where you rubbed me down and fucked me.
Then you told me your life story,
all about your mountain village,
how you once had been a student,
but had fallen out with a teacher
(lost promise of your family)
and you'd been expelled, and, now
you slept nights in the cafes
and smoked kif all the hot day
and scoured the town for tourists.
I went with you to your village
in the mountains near Marrakech.
I saw the barren hillside
(but to you it was blooming).
I saw the bordj you lived in
with the stable underneath it
for the camels and the donkeys,
and the sheep, the goats, the turkeys.
I met your grave, stern father,
upright in his blue djellaba.
I drank tea and smoked kif there.
I met your other mother
(as you called your father's new wife).
And you washed my hands with water
poured from a silver pitcher
(the custom of the country),
and we slept on Berber carpets
that were woven by your sisters.
And so I came to trust you.
And so I took you travelling,
And then we fell in prison
in a town called Mogador.
And n'aie pas peur you told me,
maktoub , it was all written,
but, inchallah, we'll get out,
though you yourself were frightened.
For two long months we rotted
in a prison by the seaside,
where the gulls laughed every morning,
and the muezzin wailed at daybreak,
as the key turned in the iron door,
and the lice and bedbugs ate us,
and we lived on beans and lentils,
and you sold the shoes I'd bought you
and the blue shirt you were wearing
to get more food from the kitchen
so that I could eat " European."
And at nights you slept beside me,
(on the cold floor, rough wool blankets)
and you put your arms around me
to protect me from the others
(for there were forty others).
Days, we walked around in circles
in that courtyard with eight olive-trees,
hand in hand, like all the others
(the custom of the country),
sat and listened to the imams
(though of course I understood nothing),
while the armed guards prowled the rooftops.
The last time that I saw you
was as I was leaving prison
and we kissed each other on both cheeks
(the custom of the country),
while my police escorts looked on,
and you grabbed my hand and told me
" remember, I'm your brother,"
and I marched out of the doorway,
for I was being deported.
Now, back on your douar,
you send me Christmas cards and little letters
(decorated with calligraphy and flowers)
in your funny French, saying things like this:
Mon cher frere, si tu veux m'aider, aide-moi
a ce moment, n'importe de quelle chose,
de l'argent, si tu peux, ou des vΓͺtements
anciens, ou une cartouche de cigarettes.
And I sometimes send you money,
and I hope it makes you happy,
for I won't be going back there.
And I wander
from country to country, purposeful, purposeless,
but sometimes
even now
at night
in my hotel-room of dreams
I hear across the darkness n'aie pas peur
feel
the small protecting body close to mine,
warm arms around my waist, quick, quiet breath,
the hard cock pulsing, saying " let me in,"
brief spasm of union and separation.
Abd-el-Fatteh.
Servant
of the Open Door.

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