the shops smelling of dark leather,
the hookah parlors spilling out
onto the crowded sidewalk.
throwing a bottle at my uncle's face,
the slivers lodging deep.
I thought my uncle must live
a shadow life, imagining with one eye
what the other couldn't see.
with my hand over half my face,
bumping into things, swiveling my head.
knitting quietly in her armchair,
"what's to become of you?"
twirling gauzily away like a ballerina.
driving from Cairo on the long desert road,
and he would be making time,
the way he moved, skimming along
hazy edges, judging distances
by inkling, relying on some part
of the tangible world
without knowing exactly
what to hold on to,
what to let go.