John Canaday

The Empty Quarter

In early spring, here in the Rub 'al Khali,
Gabriel swings his goad over the humped backs
of swollen clouds. They roar like angry camels
and thunder toward the fields of the fellahin.
At night, I dream of grass so green it speaks.
But at noon, even the dry chatter of djinn
leaves the wadis. The sun lowers its bucket,
though my body is the only well for miles.
A dropped stone calls back from the bottom

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