Site icon Alexander Hammil

Deserts are of Many Kinds

So. The city of many columns, Irem, city of dreams, where the streets are green and grey and set with the leaping brass shapes of fish, where the sellers in the marketplace know little and speak much, where the temples are many though the gods are few…

At a fountain a woman is drinking water, her face closed. She bends to the clear, stony water, her back drawn stiff and tight. Though she is not old her joints are, old with tension, ancient with stress. She is dry among the towers of Irem…

Many-columned Irem is a city of hills, that fall from the mountainsides to the sheen of the bay. To live in Irem is to climb, the windy stairs between the streets, the long ladders at the corners…

A short-legged boy has soft hands, a face wide with fat. He is standing by the water, watching the ships sliding past the islands and out of the harbor. He is lonely, he dreams of cities beyond Irem, skies not seen through shading columns. He will learn to love Irem when he is far from it, remember fondly even his loneliness, by the quiet waters of jewelled Irem…

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