Drinking the Tigris: Sandstorm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cykuck/4977627349/ taken Sept, 2008 at 3pm


the next morning

Sandstorms here aren't like the ones in movies. The wind doesn't pick the desert floor up to snap it out like a bull whip. It's more like a surprise sneeze. A gust and a squint of the eyes. A diffused red wall rolls in like fog. Then the wait. How long it will take for the billions and trillions of tiny particles, finer than talcum, to find a gentle landing? Last year they only lasted a day. This year, because of the drought in Iraq, they last for days. It sticks to the TV. It fills nostrils and sinus cavities. It fills the windshield wipers. It fills the carpet, and turns the floor of the shower red. It lies across the bed waiting, suppressing its sly joy before it crawls up on your tired face and covers your skin. Finally, it creeps into your consciousness where it smoothers your patience and dries up your imagination. It's in everything. It's everywhere. It creeps and curls and corkscrews and connives its way into every crack and seam in life. It turns the world red.