A visitor outside this place, I feel
more like alive and rooted to the cusp
of history's forked tongue. My face is still
around but almost gone. The grey is dust
the red is dust up from the ground the clay
rises and ebbs and flows and curves and spikes
of palm cut through the clay. Another day
the rain will start to melt the clay. It's like
our skin which always falls away and comes
again. You wake to find there's people slapping
new skin on you. It hardens in the sun.
Between old you and new there is no gap.
My name is Adam, kneaded from the clay,
I weep at night and drive the ox all day.
Photo of the Great Mosque of Djenné taken by Ruud Zwart