I’m in free fall,
Recoiling back through the years,
Reversing back down city-streets and moorland-valleys,
Retreating from various hypotheses and bifurcations,
Shunning burning-pits and blissful-heights alike
Until I land lightly on my feet.
I’m a cool twenty again,
Young, green and full of hope.
Annaba: my first job.
Skulking behind grey filing-cabinets
Yearning for her black hair, olive skin
And flashing almond-eyes.
We exchange averted glances,
But it’s just not on, old sport
Off limits, out-of-bounds
Have to leave an hour early today,
J’ai Cour d’Arabe she explains,
Newly liberated from the hated French,
She’s being Arabised.
That’s cool, I think,