The Islamic holy city of Moulay Idriss, Morocco
Our guide’s name is Magic.
Or, I thought it was until I asked
him to write it for me—Majid.
Between the legends he tells
of djinns and double doors,
Majid listens to our questions
and leads us through his streets.
He turns a whitewashed corner
and stops, looking over a cliff.
We gather near, waiting for the next
marvel-fact of this ageless place.
He says nothing, just stares out.
We follow his steady eyes and gasp—
there, across a valley we didn’t know
we’d ascended from,
glows the domed hill of the city
in fading sunlight, flanked by
green fields, green mountains.
“The soul is rich here,” Majid says,
in his thick accent.
Only he didn’t say that. He said soil,
but it took me a moment of context—
olive orchards, vineyards—
to hear what he meant.
We just visited a bakery—saw
and heard how bakers transform grains.
Tomorrow, we visit a vineyard—will see
and hear how vintners transform grapes.
But right now, we stand before the
last light of day, our selves transforming.
“We watched the sun set,” we say later.
But we didn’t.
We heard it—donkey bray,
call to prayer, swallow song.
We heard it— the sound of our
own souls growing,
even if we couldn’t see them.
Anna Elkins earned an MFA and a Fulbright Fellowship in poetry. Her words have appeared in various journals and books, and her art has been exhibited in the US and abroad. She is the author of the illustrated vignette, The Heart Takes Flight, the novel The Honeylicker Angel, and the poetry collection The Space Between. In between travels, Anna resides in the mythical State of Jefferson, where she writes, paints, and teaches. annaelkins.com