Your education came too early, before you had seen an alcazaba
Before you learned about the journey of pomegranates.
You didn’t know how to create paradise in a white city
Or the sudden turns these strongholds would have to make
Not to admit your enemies into a garden of oranges
Where the women sit, not quite prisoners,
Gazing through lattices at the bareheaded hills of Spain.
You didn’t understand the way God moved through history
Northward with the hacking sword
Revealed through a tribal touch for flowers.
You couldn’t allow exactitude and softness to make love
And birth a Caliphate, azure and unflinching
Arches holding up the heart like an eternal Córdoba.
You knew nothing of the interior architecture of your own first name.
In the dark night you smuggled your selves
Out of Tehran, legally or illegally.
Black crows strode down the streets in pairs
Tented, your own small gender, with mystery under the skirt.
On the plane you tugged at your mother’s headscarf:
You don’t need to wear that anymore.
You carry the girlchild’s instinct, you spit in the face of the caul.
Then you found Andalusia and through the hand glimpsed
The divine romance worn by wind and the human palimpsest,
The taste man has for vanquishing himself.
Under the lights of another Roman theatre, lit below the fort
Loyalty grew in mathematics, worship in the stone.
What was past carved itself a resting-place where you could briefly see
Further than a veil, into Revelation, exhaling with the fall.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones