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                                    Cezarija Abartis

Its very vowels
were an exotic blossoming
in the desert of lessons
about Israel in exile,

a mantra I mouthed
while stepping into
the framed pious painting
and onto a dromedary

that swayed us away
through blistering heat
toward three date palms
shading a pool

where an unveiled beauty
waited with water,
calmly lifting a bowl
to my cracked lips

as I drank deep, staring
into her cool green eyes:
o that was no mirage,
that was oasis.

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