by Mishka Mojabber Mourani
One is not born a Beiruti, one becomes it, by loving – without negotiation or compromise – this city without gardens, this jungle of disfigured graying buildings and hanging vines of disheveled electric wires, of poorly-concealed shell scars, like an older woman who is badly made up.
I choose you as one chooses not to stop smoking.
I light you up to calm me.
I smoke you to compose me.
I extinguish you so that I may savor you later.
You tempt me with your abandon, with you contradictions. The serenity of your madness has always offered me refuge.
You are a capricious child, a fickle woman in the autumn of age, an alcoholic old man, a cruel mistress, a cornered animal.
You are a child whom one cherishes in spite of her temper tantrums, a woman with a heart as big as the world, an old man who loves to love, a mistress with open arms, an alley cat in all its splendor.
Immolating city, you quench your thirst from our sea. You are a frenzy, a final assault to the bitter end, a respite.
Last updated September 02, 2011