Different – Sahara Curry

My feet sank into the grainy
Warm sand as I walked along the shore
The crystal blue water came running up to me
Soaking my feet
then retreating back
To the large body of water
Where it came from

The smells of lush tomatoes and succulent cucumbers
From the nearby shuk
Mixed with the salty sandy ocean smell
filling my nose

Kids played volleyball with their portable nets
Kicking up sand as they ran from side to side
Women dunked their babies in the calm water

On the sidewalk
people pedalled bikes
groceries on their backs
Took slow strolls
And afternoon jogs

The buildings that towered above
Reflected the sun on everyone
Making us even hotter
Sweating even more
Cars on Trumpeldor St
Had windows rolled down
People put their hands out of the windows
To feel the slight ocean breeze

In downtown
Tel Aviv-Yafo
Falafel filled the nostrils of pedestrians
Car engines rumbled and rustled
Gelato in the storefronts
Made my mouth water
My stomach grumble

Down at the port
Jaffa
Those who got too close to the docking ships
Were hit
With a strong
Almost unpleasant
smell of fish

The small alleys
with boutiques and art galleries
Hidden there
waiting for someone
to come and catch a glimpse
Of what was in stock

The yachts and tiny boats
were docked in the bay
Rocking slightly

You could feel the breeze on Masada
Almost knocking you off
Tumbling to the bottom
Dead
The view at the top made me feel heroic
I had climbed all the way to the top
But now
I had to climb
Down
Down
Down
To the Dead Sea
The lowest point on Earth.
It doesn’t feel like that, though
It felt like a regular beach
Only the water was saltier and more bitter
than anything
When it touched my eyes
It was like a thousand armed soldiers were trapped
They scratched and peeled at my eyelids
trying to get out
Only cool water from a faucet conquered the army
The pain reminded me of the pain I felt
when I had to leave
Leave friends
Leave relatives
Leave country
When I boarded the plane
A deep feeling of regret lay
At the bottom of my stomach
So different
Like nowhere else
I will be back again

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