‘One Late Afternoon In Cairo’ by Ahmed Nader Gretly

It was Cairo, one late afternoon,

With the weather so hot it felt like

Someone, somewhere forgot to close

The gates of hell on this ancient city.

So hot I could see the water evaporating

Off the dark asphalt, creating the illusion

Of large puddles in the distance, when

In reality, it’s as dry as dust.

Fear not, my loved ones, for soon

We’ll cough blood on the earth, when

Everyone else is busy winning the race to space,

And in a few days; they’ll be coughing blood on mars.

But we’re still here contemplating how to clean our streets

When at first we need to clean our heads

From that rot manifesting inside of them.

On that late afternoon, as I sat near the graveyard

Surrounded by the dead, whom still do not understand

The meaning of life and love and whatnot.

Ghosts of men who died for reasons not quite clear to them,

For they never mastered their own lives.

Now they roam the streets of the city that wouldn’t sleep.

And why would it sleep,

And wake up early in the morning

To a cup of stale coffee,

Running around the mill.

Working hard and making tons of cash for others,

With only crumbles and scraps to take home to a depressed

Housewife, who hadn’t felt her vagina ever since that

One week they spent in Sharm ten years in the past,

When he had a full head of hair and she had no mustache.

All that before the kids popped one after the other,

As if her uterus was a vending machine.

O’ but the future is dull my friends, the future is pale.

As I sat down in a field of grey; I gazed upon the moon

And saw it staring right back at me and I yelled:

“Moon! You’re a rock! Wipe out that silly grin!”

But then I realized that that rock baffled so many

Men for so many years, men who tried to understand

How it hung there staring at the earth,

Witnessing wars and tears and murderers skipping across

The lands, and how it tolerated the human race and their

Infidelity to one another with out intervening.

I smiled and bowed my head, apologizing to the moon,

But when I looked up it was gone and so

Were all the dead.

So it was just me, the road

And the empty graves.

Alas, the graves were empty, for all the dead

Were stuck in jobs they did not enjoy, just because they wanted

Safe incomes for their sad wives.

Sad because they never felt loved, they never felt beautiful,

They were not appreciated by their husbands who came home from

Work every single day, kicked off their shoes and stared at the TV,

Fantasizing about fucking that actress, who was as young as his

Daughter who sat on the bathroom floor, with a razor in one hand

And the arm of the other stretched right in front of her,

Decorated by crimson scars of hate and sadness.

On that late afternoon, when the sun began to go down,

And I could hear the woman’s scream from across the street,

And the man asking his God why,

“Why O’ why did you take my daughter?!”

I crossed the street and pondered for a second,

And saw the daughter’s soul floating about in a white veil,

Angelically beautiful, her cuts radiating light.

She hovered past me with wings instead of arms,

as I witnessed her ascending to the heavenly gates,

While her father (the man who cared more about the money than his house),

And her mother (who got so cold from the lack of attention)

Stood by the poor girl’s bloody body,  blaming each other for their daughter’s demise.

Foolish is he who thinks ghosts are merely a thing of myths,

Foolish is he who thinks the dead only belong in the graveyards.

She went, they’ll follow.

I mounted my pale horse, looked at the parents in awe,

Then followed the other horsemen across the night sky.


About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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4 Responses to ‘One Late Afternoon In Cairo’ by Ahmed Nader Gretly

  1. Kristin Brænne says:

    Stay excellent! ★

  2. Pingback: Thursday Poets Rally Week 46 (June 16-22, 2011) | Promising Poets' Poetry Cafe

  3. Jingle says:

    impressive write.
    love your work.

    Come join poets rally now.

    Happy Friday!

  4. perfect, keep writing…

    Please Check out short story slam week 5,

    write a poem or a story based on the image, link to our week 5 collection of short stories, and have fun!
    Bless your day!
    Hope to see you in,
    Keep your creative juice running,

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