Suddenly, he appeared from my ceiling,
The turbaned Arab smoking a hookah,
Sitting on his own cloud of smoke
Like a djinn.
Al-Qaeda decapitated him he said.
The gnome at noonday laughs
And tells me it’s only a hallucination.
The Arab blows out smoke rings
Circling his head.
He asked me for riyals to buy him some whiskey.
He was already drinking whiskey from his bottle
That dribbled from his mouth down his beard.
The gnome says that the Arab is really a caterpillar
Seated on a toadstool smoking his hookah.
I close my eyes very tightly, then they’re both gone,
But I can still hear them arguing.