Not Diva, deva, no. Not v. The w is perhaps the only letter in our Roman alphabet to which it can be compared. In Arabic script, however, there is that continuous up and down of the linked letters, with dots like little dimples above the upstrokes. A nation of pederasts? “Across the river there’s a boy with a bottom like a peach, but alas, I cannot swim.” Those dark ovals, like a rounded w, bisected by a golden stream of piss.

I followed him, you see. I shouldn’t have, I know that, but I was curious to see where he went, so privately – not even prayers need be so private. But then, I didn’t really anyway, because it was a he whom I followed, and a she who was revealed by that act of squatting down and hoisting aside the robe.

It is, of course, the Muslim method, devised to avoid soiling clean clothes, I suppose, so I thought nothing of it at first except shame at spying. But this was no boy’s behind, nor did it back upon a gelding’s mound. How, with her back towards me, could I be so sure? I spy with my little eye, or rather, with my little binocular eye-glasses, something beginning with “p” – pee – and “c,” and indeed I was all at sea at the sight.

Why did I have to keep watching? Y? (But that’s the front, with the little triangle and two pressed-together legs). It was unspeakably fascinating to watch her wipe herself, then rearrange her costume to become again my slight sheikh of the desert. Those almond eyes, smooth brows, that mellifluous voice, all were now explained to me.

I had stiffened at the sight. Yes, like a bar, an I, and with an eye at one end, which I had perforce to take in hand and rub, up, down, blood-glistening, until I wrote my praise of unity in the sand, in three long narrow strokes, with a little swirl at the end. I felt so animal, abandoned – the freedom of a dream.

Discreetly, of course, I said nothing of it to her later.

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