bil 3arabi: 6 poems by Sara Saleh

By | 5 December 2019

Fairouz …

The last one of us has left home…
Fairouz sings, “Oh wind, if you please, take me home …
What does it mean to lose a person, to lose a country?
Whenever I write about mama and baba, I use ellipses,
I am not fond of endings, and we are a people
of kan zaman and kan ya ma kan

Upon the rumble of the bus that was carrying us from the village
of Hamlaya to the village of Tannourine, I remembered you,
and I remember your eyes

Friday lunch we drape boney fish and
spiced potatoes on the table, fighting over
who is to blame for this mess, Amreeka, amo
says or we brought it on ourselves or some other or …
We stay seated for hours, with our oversized
plates and our oversized grief …

The people have asked me about you, my darling
They’ve written letters and the wind took them
It’s not easy for me to sing, my darling

We both come from a wartime where
there is only one hospital, and many shrines
to watch over our dead, their bodies inside out,
which is to say, we only know how to love inside out …
So many times I sent word when you were an island,
unsure if it reached you, my darling, and what if
we are not meant to survive everything?
Fairouz sings, and we are reminded,
every love letter is also an elegy …

Until When, God?

Our land is being reborn

The man on the TV says, burn the mosques,
burn the textbooks, burn our tender,
this city turns our curses to prayers,
our disciples to the wretched …

My voice, keep flying,
whirlwind inside the conscience of people,
tell them what’s happening,
so that maybe their conscience wakes up.

Sing to them, we are a free people …

And sing. and sing. And sing. And …

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