In the Camp of Nomadic Affinities

by Nathan Hoks

The nomads arrive on camels.
They speak in whimpers and their
Cigarette smoke clogs the weather balloons.
Their encampment makes the shape
Of a giant mouth on the top of the ridge
Where they catch the solar rays
And convert them into the sound of
An excavator scraping its teeth
Across an enormous chalkboard.
But their teeth are floodlights,
Their eyes are lake water eroding the shoreline.
Their camels smell like camels
And are so softhearted they never bray,
Never kick, never glance over their smooth
Muzzles which jut into the atmosphere
Like piers leading the children into
The oxbow lake where they will swim
For an hour before returning for a nap.

Published on July 13, 2015