Barbara Streisand’s voice drifts

over the back seat of the cab

two o’clock in the morning,

my head is pressed against smooth glass


I stare at the night outside,

sapphire spilling over buildings

balconies dripping with shirts

and sheets drying


Beneath the laundry,

below the shadows of the sleeping,

cafés glow, tables strewn with coffee cups

and backgammon games,

old men smoke sheeshah


Cairo is a maze of streets

kissing the Nile

stretching half-asleep

tossing with restless dreams,

waiting for the sun to rise