Maria, a love affair.

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Maria is a whirlwind of words that work up a dust storm of language evoking desire, longing, breathlessness and beirut moments we can all relate to. I thank her for joining our little band and for her poems.
And for her love affair with Beirut.

Love Affair

I cannot remember if
it was you who loved
me, or if it was I
who had a dark
love affair with your
city.

I cannot remember what
it was like to take you for
granted, with your alleys smelling like
trampled down
green, tobacco-laced
humidity, like
home, lingering like
the perfect nonchalant
evening.

I remember what it was
like when your only
sound was the voices of
young people wanting to
leave you, always wanting to
get out, to travel over
seas, far, far away from
you, to never come back, to
never have any doubts about the
necessity to turn their
backs on you.

I remember what it
was like to despise you, a
city impossible in its
bullet-holed
buildings, contradictory with its
flower vendors walking about,
throwing cigarette butts on your
ground. I
remember what it was like to
slam my wrists on my steering
wheel in your sun. I remember the
price I paid for
loving your son.

And then I left. We all
did. We assumed you’d always
stand tall under your smog,
we assumed we’d always
have time to live in the
land of Fairouz’s
songs. Having been
under seas seven times till
now, we never thought
twice about how you would
resurface with your narrow
winding roads, caverns haunted
by all your fleeing souls. But
with each despoiling
war, you
could be slipping a
little further away. And
even though we leave
you, we find ourselves
breaking promises to other
lovers, always
coming back for more.

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