For an old friend...
There was the homeland Salim described so vividly
in the military post room, where he showed me photos
and presented me with an ornate copper coffee pot.
He tried so hard to teach me Arabic, but
I just couldn't grasp it. All that
reading and writing in alien characters -
and from right to left - really screwed my head.
The next week he'd be returning home to his child bride
and swapping army uniform for traditional dress.
Perhaps I'd never see Salim again, but
in my mind's eye, I'd haunt his whitewashed home
and linger often beneath a scorching Omani sun...