Memories of Matter

I noticed an Egyptian pound in my pocket today. I am not sure how it got there. I did not move it. Egypt has methods of reminding me of herself.

My caf serves pita. I dream of aish.

Striding along cold concrete University sidewalks, I cannot but think, these are the shoes that walked Tahrir.

I watch videos from the warm chrysalis of my room, and I wonder, where is the woman to whom I gave alms? Where are the mischievous youth with their games in the streets? Who hangs out on the bridges with brightly colored scarves?

The henna from the khan al-khalili faded away in the weeks after my arrival home, the one visible mark that cried “I was there, but now I am not!”

The nail polish is gone from one foot, but holds resiliently to the nails of the other. My Egyptian polish is red, bright red, the color of spirit, the color of vivacity, the color of crimson blood. It is the clash of worlds.

My Arabic numeral timepiece hangs around my neck, close. And I wait.

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