Casablanca to Marrakech

On The Train

The Moroccan girl with wild brown hair tied back is not on the train
as it leaves a white station.
She sits on her haunches. Her bare feet dig soil, grip small earth
pebbles as exposed root structures dance with her toes.
Her toes are her extended connection where her shadow lies forgotten.
It spreads upon vegetables. They wait below her. They prowl toward
late winter light.
She is not on the red and brown train that zooms past green fields
where her sheep in long woolen coats eat their way through pastures
after a two year drought.

She is inside green the girl with her wild brown hair pulled tight.
She is not on the train hearing music, eating dates, reading a book,
talking with friends or strangers, sleeping along her passage, or
dreaming of a lover.
She does not scan faces of tired, trapped people in their orange
seats impatiently waiting for time to deliver them to a Red City
in the desert. Her history's desert is full of potentates sharpening
their swords, inventing icon free art, alphabets, practicing equality,
creating five pillars of Islam and navigation star map tools, breaking
wild stallions, building tiled adobe fortresses, selling spices,
writing language.

She is not on the train drinking fresh mint tea or consulting a
pocket sized edition of the Quran. She does not kneel on her Berber
carpet five times a day facing Mecca in the east.
She does not wear stereo earphones or listen to music imported from
another world, a world where people treasure their watches. Where
controlling time is their passion for being prompt and responsible
citizens to give their lives meaning.
She is not on the train and not in this language the girl with her
wild brown hair tied back with straw or leather or stems of wild
flowers surrounding her with fragrances.

She is surrounded by orange blossom perfume beyond rolling hills,
cut by wet canyons along yellow and green fields, where her black
eyes penetrate white clouds in her blue sky.
In her open heart she hears her breath explore her long shadow,
causing it to ripple with her shift. Her toes caress soil and she
is lighter than air, lighter than a feather of a wild bird in the
High Atlas mountains far away.
She smells the Berber tribal fire heating tea for the festival where
someone wears a goatskin cape and skull below the stars.
It is cold outside. Flames leap from branches like shooting stars
into her eyes and someone plays music. It is the music of her ancestors,
her nomadic people and she sways inside the gradual hypnotic rhythm
of her ancestral memory.
She is not on the train. She is inside a goat skull moving her hoofs
through soil. She moves through fields where she danced as a child
seeing red and yellow fire calling all the stars to her dance and
she is not on the train.

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