Sûrah XCIII
THE MORNING HOURS
"Thy Lord hath not forsaken thee nor doth He hate thee..."

93
DAWN BREAKS

Inert, a mutual innocence having fixed the pose that daybreak sheds its light upon—Zahra's torso wrapped in Franchone's arms like a form within a form—conveys restraint by him, relief by her, the sleep both slept angelical—insofar as neither woke while spending the whole night fully clothed. Her rain-soaked blouse and jeans have mostly dried, rigidified deep-set wrinkles, whereas Franchone's slacks and dress-shirt still are damp where bodies join. His chest, her backbone—almost welded by their moist association—each records the humid contact via reawakened pores, the shock of unfamiliar maleness jolting her, affecting him who is accustomed to relations labeled 'casual'. Not so Zahra. Only Homa braved togetherness that could stimulate pangs like these, desires to hold, be held, conflicting with anxieties bred of culture, years of strict religious training contradicted by... a whim? Could fleeting passion be compared to Paradise Lost?