Ali Baba and the Forty Capitalists

unnamed

Ali Baba and the Forty Capitalists

 

I’m sure I spotted

Ali Baba

At the waterhole—

“Coffee Cathedral”

 

“If I’m not mistaken,”

I declared.

“You’re Ali Baba,

Aren’t you?”

 

The suit

Was rather misleading.

And where,

Are your forty thieves?

 

Had they been dispersed?

What had they become?

Resented, perhaps

A fault of their leader?

 

It cannot be

That you are he,

The real

Ali Baba!

 

Betrayed, I began

To turn aside

Onto other matters,

When, eloquence:

 

“Alan Barber now;

But, I am delighted

You have encountered

My former work”

 

Perfect white dentures

Trimmed beard

In a goatee, impossible

A lick of grey.

 

Some scarring, yes

But, where is that

Vicious energy, that

Barbarism from afar?

 

“Where are the thieves?!”

I blurted out,

Having been stunned,

Into silence.

 

“Alan Barber and

Associates: Finance

And stock specialists.

Here is my card.”

 

Ali Baba and

The forty Capitalists:

Exotic images

Minced and mangled.

 

It was disgusting

A tragedy of utterance

What Ali Baba

Had become.

 


© Iain Sutherland, 2014.
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