A cloud of swallows migrates over
the Red Sea’s shallows—
where in creamy blue-black breakers,
kite-flyers, wind-surfers, swimmers, fishermen
scramble out of each other’s way.
I once wanted to own
all the Nile’s banks and islands,
be mistress of all who drink
its waters, till I got tired of unruly waves,
of crows and cocks in early dawn.
Constant sun and confusion
of markets made my heart
ache, my soul spill open to intruders
like some tumbledown house
where beggars settle among ruins.