hobart logo
Sand Drifts photo

I step off the flamingo colored bus and walk into the middle ages with mountains hovering in the background while lots of vapors hit depending on which way you turn, charcoal smoke, dried dung, piss, nothing remotely romantic as the universe you’ve been living in has been flicked and brought you back to the time of camels and donkeys into the back of beyond sans electricity but rosy glow kerosene lanterns show off local vendors’ fruit in brown one story buildings down the dried mud thoroughfare where small piles of oranges are arranged like pyramids of precious gems and lanterns put out thin beams of shaky light so walking down the street into darkness you hear a clip-clopping echo and see a flickering pin prick light and jump out of the way of a donkey cart headed right at you with the driver sitting on top smoking kif next to a kerosene lamp unable to see you in the pitch black air though you might smell donkey and driver if the dung laced breeze blows up your nose as my body quivers with new found knowledge of time so I pour sand from one hand to the other in order to anchor me to the earth and settle into a leathery haunch and breathe in the remnants of the old ways through worn slats of the oldest door in the world hanging in entrance of a mud compound where bakers hook their flat dough pieces the size of small pillows with a black rod onto the roof of a beehive shaped oven with a flick of their wrists bakers’ limbs having an intelligence of their own needing no concentration after 1,000 years of repetition while turban wrapped men pass as if in parade out of the bible faces not quite Asian not quite European dark beards hollow cheeks gazing into space until throwing out pieces of conversation into the air stepping past dried creek beds with cratered walls of sand on either side of you the chaos of the crust of earth as if some mad god of sculpture troweled along their rims in ecstatic abandon jubilating in the peculiar sense of sand surrounding you in a protective snake shaped womb as you listen to the high wailing voices from the tendrils of the wind a song slithering among dunes carved from alleys of sand melody and lyric complete while a woman’s mating ritual of belly jiggling, pelvic thrusts vibrate and stretch in filthy angelic writhing in the mud unleashing a gale of erotic energy as drums carry her through different symphonies of movement causing the skin of the soldier of peace to split like a serpent’s egg to reveal the tinkle of a goat’s bell.


image: Amy Bassin