Here, There: a Ghazal
after Zeina Hashem Beck
The barista in Chippendale wants to know where you’re from, mispronouncing your
name, a dismissal, an accusation, you are neither here nor there.
They came to your beloved Beirut and forced all the wrong languages into your
mouth, you separated yourself into 2 piles of neither here nor there.
One night, before taraweeh, Teta asks why you recite Qur’an in cracks like that; you
drought your gutturals because you understand you are from neither here nor there.
Your childhood was a series of Interruptions, everyday a kind of absence, and you
wonder can they love you if you are not enough, here nor there?
You are orphaned from your mother/tongue, your longing confused for every man you
baptise lover, and all the women in you are tired of running, here and there.
To honour the questions, you must honour the answers, only our poets
have ways of teaching us that we are much bigger than here and there.
bil 3arabi: 6 poems by Sara Saleh
By Sara M Saleh | 5 December 2019