Drizzi-cholic Night. by Omar Almasri

Drizzles and drops

Smacking the streets and wandering skulls harder than a hail of bullets

The sky as dark as a lifeless neighborhood on lockdown,
as overcast as mirror after a hot, long-winded, shower

The seats, dripping black and yellow, soaking wet,
the disposed leftovers spoiled

The cats and dogs whine and wail

Chubby brown Tabbies,
strapping Salukis,
Angoras and Havanese

Desperate for affection, attention
a pat, a scritch,
a bowl, a foil of food

But the roads nearby are awash with cars,
from pale-white Toyotas to lane-and-a-half pickup trucks,
jammed, grounded and blinking uncontrollably

Standing beside, across, and behind each other,
on a three-turned-six-lane highway

Their mirrors, windows,
from all ends: the front, sides, and back
completely drenched

The standstill sets off the impatient drivers
awaiting their spouses, lovers,
Netflix, beds and hefty dinners

Irate, they vulgarly moan,
at the skies, their steering wheels
and each other, from the window or by their protruding car door

From the f-bombs,
to the genitalia-related directives,
to the curse your fathers,
wives and husbands

Accompanied by the customary,
relentless honking

The traffic officer’s fists clench, cap off,
desperate to regain his capricious authority

The cats and dogs nearby
still whine and wail,
bawling for their uninterested and apathetic attention,
and a dry, edible meal

But the drivers moan and honk some more,
louder than the cheers for a disgraced celebrity

The insults grow more vulgar,
personal and extra-physical

Threats from a kick to the ass and a punch to the face

The usual empty and high-testosterone-induced drivel

However, minutes later, the drizzles start to wane and clouds start to clear

The drivers itch to capitalize on this welcoming upswing,
for a return to their more relaxed sanctuaries and solitudes

They hop back into their driving seats,
pull the clutch from Park to Drive
quicker than a Muslim breaking a fifteen hour fast

The sounds of vroom, vroom,
tire scratches on the wet surface,
the sights of black, smoky gas
fill the misty atmosphere
vying for pole arrival

From 0 to 70
The cars go,
full turbo

The diminishing, thick white lines
a total blur
the red, yellow and green
a shunned rainbow

70 to 90
The drivers maintain their impetuous tear

90 to 11
The whines and wails,
the barks and meows
evolve into agonizing shrieks, screams and screeches

110 to 120
The tiny, wet paws begin to
scamper, scurry, slip
towards a safe-zone,
a sidewalk, a static automobile or trash dump

120 to 130
Follicles of fluff, silky, white and brown
fur suddenly surface, and scatter

Omar Almasri is a freelance writer based in Jordan.