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We sit down to black tea. From the silver pot, the immigrant waiter missing Algeria pours the dark liquid into short glasses; we soften its strength with sugar. You tell us of your trip to Morocco  the veiled woman who drew henna webs on your hands the short man who protected you from his thespian friends before he stole all of your money.

I imagine a rhinoceros graveyard  their hornless bodies bursting with maggots for a white man's love  thick knuckles  ivory rings on old women's fingers writing poems with red and green thread  my great grandmother sewing together swatches of her family's clothes  passing its narrative on with a blessing: fly away  fly away  fly away home.

The cool air brings Arabic children singing with perfect Spanish accents. During Ramadan they crave gazpacho and paella.

I will never forget the camel I rode with my grandfather in Tangier  the stink of its hair  its tall lumps shrinking as the sun seethed  an Atlantic brimming with gold.

Myronn Hardy

Myronn Hardy, who received the BA degree in English literature with honors from the University of Michigan, is currently studying for the MFA in creative writing at Columbia University.

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