From across the overcrowded bazaar I glimpse
the exquisite girl with the mole near her mouth;
the longer I stare the less I remember
who or where I intend to be.
As she slips by me, a whiff of jessamine
charms me from a discount stall of brass lamps
in time to witness the expiring pangs of twilight.
Steering through mobs drooling over bargains,
I trace the scent to a frowzy coffeehouse
with arabesques on granite floors and mirrors on the walls,
its air fragrant with cardamom and mint,
congested with smoke rings puffed from hookah buffs.
An abrupt hush falls as the storyteller appears,
cloaked like a ghoul in his beige galabiyah,
accompanied by a houri or desert mirage,
her limbs rattling with silver wristlets and auric toe rings,
her bare midriff undulating like Mediterranean waves,
entrancing a roomful of slack-jawed desirers.
Moistening with the sweat of desperation,
I wait till she glances my way from those almond eyes,
a flash evanescent yet lovesome,
the momentous instant when I notice a crescent eyelash
dangling then falling beside her mole,
a waning moon coupling with a lonesome sun.

Brandon Marlon is a writer from Ottawa, Canada. He received his B.A. (Hon.) in Drama and English from the University of Toronto and his M.A. in English from the University of Victoria. His poetry has appeared variously in publications in Canada, the U.S., England, Israel, and India. www.brandonmarlon.com.