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I give you my olives

My tamarisk tree

My body and wine

My fruit and my seed

I give you my heart

My barley and wheat

I yield my bed

Succumb to your arms

I give you my throat

My Damascene gold

Where you lead

I will follow

I give you my water

I give you my earth.


Do not tempt me

Beloved One

To the scented pleasure

Of your tent tonight.

I do not thirst

For the spill of apricot upon your tongue

The qawwali of your arms

In perfumed gardens of delight.

I seek instead your other paradise

The toxic sands and unforgiving dunes

Of your Taklimakan Shamo bed

That waterless and fatal place

Where those who enter

Never return.

Russell Streur is a born-again dissident residing in Johns Creek, Georgia.  His work has been published in Europe, certain islands and the United States.  He operates the world’s original on-line poetry bar, The Camel Saloon, catering to dromedaries, malcontents and jewels of the world at; and the curator of The Bactrian Room, a journal for bactrians, ghosts and travelers on the Long Silk Road with a story to tell at  He cofounded Poets Democracy in 2010 with Christi Kochifos Caceres and is the author of The Muse of Many Names, The Petition to Free Zhu Yufu, and other works.