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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Mid-Summer Night's African Dream

Shanaz where are you?
And where has Africa gone?
Down the Indian ocean highway
On a runaway motorcycle
Singing songs of Jesus Christ, Super Star

Your spectacles were respectable
My father admired your mind
And you did well unto him

Where have the sail boats gone?
They no longer sing to the ocean liner at the pier
No more Kitanges fly in the wind
And no more African hair braids shine
Underneath the Dar-es-Salaam moon….

There was a forgotten Indian song, Shanaz
It had floated above the drive-in movie theater walls
And caught onto the trains of a suspended sari from one
Of the cars
And disappeared

Where are you?

'Shanaz' was the Administrative Assistant, at the Iraqi Embassy in an East African country, in the late 70s. She was of a member of a large Indian community that lived there, then.