Burned Red In The White City



Baruch signing his excellent books! Photo provided by Wonderlust

Baruch November is the author of Bar Mitzvah Dreams and Dry Nectars of Plenty, which was co-winner of the BigCityLit chapbook contest. His poem “After Esav” was nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize.


He co-directs and organizes the Jewish Community Center  of Buffalo’s Poetry Series. For more than 15 years, he has taught courses in Shakespeare, poetry, and writing at Touro University in Manhattan, NY.


“I wanted a way to remember my trip to Morocco,” Baruch says, “which was very fulfilling because of my great tour guide, Yahya, who took me all over Casablanca, also known as the White City. Luckily, much of this poem came to me naturally. The end of the poem was the only part that came to me long after the trip.”






Burned Red in The White City


My skin turned deep 

red, a painful memento 

of Casablanca, where I passed 

through the markets of its old city and bought 

just squeezed orange juice

from a stoic Senegalese woman, 

a sapphire-colored bottle 

of perfume for my mother, 

traditional Moroccan 

teacups with no handles 

for my father.


My tour guide was dedicated to telling 

me everything about Morocco, 

but I failed him, 

only taking in a few things

since the heat 

was throbbing that day and all 

I could think about was my next 

bottle of water.


The White City was something 

to behold yet where 

the French had lived, 

once beautiful, pale buildings 

were decomposing 

into the hungry 

nothing from 

which they came.