Tuesday, August 30, 2011


These red dust streets rise up in clouds of mysterious shapes and colors, moving and raging like the imaginations of the children who raise them with their barefoot games. Like the boys red t-shirts, ripped and torn, they are thin and fragile like dust clothes on their backs.

 These red-painted, peeling walls lean into themselves, just as uncertain of their strength as the family inside them. And the paint is as faded as the mothers love for her husband, the love that she never truly had. So long ago she danced under the falling pink rose petals in her tattered, orange dress and felt the embrace of her new family around her but felt nothing. So long ago, like paint, she too was put against that wall of hopelessness, left out, overlooking her days in the sun to dry, to wither, to fade.

 Bright red fruits that shine in the fruit stand on the corner are plump and fresh, the prize of the children who run from their villages to retrieve them. They smell of sun-ripened sweetness, and the spices alongside them are like the racing heartbeats of stallions on the hottest dessert days, with their shadows, at sunset, on the burning dunes.

 The red drums and strings of the men, who sit and play their music for hours, beat at paces and rhythms that weave their way into your chest and heart, take your feet hostage and move them away into lands of freedom and soul. They feel it, and when you feel it too, they smile.

 Fires in the houses of the town bring warmth and a feeling of home to the shacks they abide in, if only for a moment. Their heat dwells in the most popular spot in the house, and looks, to shine its’ golden light on the faces of the ones surrounding it.

 These thread-baron blankets are red, and they are cold. But the wind doesn’t need a color to take the life of the cold, crying newborn who just wants to grow old.

 Those drops of blood that were spilled in our town were red, the blood that was spilled when they came and told us that our innocence was wrong. But the red blood that seeped into these dusty streets was no less innocent than theirs.

 These red clay city walls feel, to me, as thin as cardboard. But they are so much harder as I race against them, my whole weight pushing toward my future. Freedom is a horizon on endless golden desert sands, but it’s strange how hopes of outside worlds and dreams beyond these walls can be broken as swiftly and surely as a shard of red clay falling to the dusty ground.

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