This medina, maybe it’s not so special, but it’s mine. I’ve seen the dust rise from my brother’s running kicks and the broom-swept clouds of my mother’s strength gather in the street’s breeze and settle in a slow, thin sheath over the pathways and the courtyards of this village. I know this place like the soul of a friend. I know the fire-colored mountains from which these rocks were taken—the rocks that built the streets, the walls, the gates. I know the lava-like settling of the mortar between the stones, and these fingers have run across its rises and dips each twenty years of my life. Hundreds of stones I know. . . .
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