city of ancients
held together by
concrete and
thin glass

in the windows
of one hundred
thousand flats
(this is where
we loved the

that were once
libraries and
temples and
tiny houses
of the poor

that stood the
tests of time
until the sea
ate them all.

still the common
live; at bus stops
they look to the
sky that inspired
the ancients (so
long ago) and
see allah where
i find nothing.

i find the way
only when i am
gazing out to
the vast azure
harbour beyond
this dusty glass-

all i see is time
beyond these
dirty lenses.

Written on 27 July, 2007.