Friday, December 04, 2009

Beirut Journal Day #27: Love & War

12.409

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a
Stranger,
Only to someone
Who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.
~Hafiz


I came across this poem today, & found it instructive, in light of my relationship (is it right to call it a relationship?) with Mariame.
*****
A Moment

The couple huddles
in the corner
o the cafe
hair
shoulders scarves slip
from necks
a knot of elbows & knees
ankles angle around each other
anchor these two
to this instant if the bomb
shoots shrapnel
stilletoes
shredding the flesh
at least
the young lovers
shared this
moment.

(I've been grappling to understand the insistence on forgetting here. The people seem to live hard, for today. I get it in the abstract, like, from America ot makes sense, but here, in this city of scars, it seems discordant. I think writing poem is the best way for me to work some the questions out.)
*****

The rain
does not relent
I reel back my memory
of my Ramallah winter watching
tracers zip
across the nighttime horizon
low
stay low we crawled away
from windows
couched into a corner cut
the lights
& waited for our eyes to adjust
to the naked night
we uncorked
a bottle of red wine
blood shed for believers
we toasted
to remember
to live
for the dead

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