Friday, December 02, 2011

'harm's way'

would be a great name for a racehorse or a Harlequin romance
or a tourist sloop that hunts up the Nile
seeking casual malevolence each night. I write you this
from Maadi, the tony home of Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri,
who once blamed a terrorist tourist slaughter
on the visitors who'd taken the bullets, who were
far from danger until, suddenly, they weren't.
"The young men are saying that this is our country
and not a place for frolicking and enjoyment,
especially for you," Z'd said, to you.
But the tourists only stopped coming recently,
when the Egyptians started doing their own thing
by draping themselves and their country with public danger.
Meanwhile, Zawahiri runs from American missiles
somewhere near Nowherestan, frolicklessly far from home.
He took harm's way. I try not to. I'm also far from home,
but I permit mine occasional frolicking and enjoyment.
When it's quiet in Cairo, I think of casual malevolence,
sometimes of baseball and of its best position:
third base, the hot corner, the place you go that's quiet
until, suddenly, it isn't.