Posts Tagged ‘tourists’

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Beirut Intersection

August 14, 2010

He said it made him sad
the old fashioned flute
sharp elegy at the breath
exhaled to mourning
and the vendor on the street
selling sadness for a dollar.
All around people are walking
on inconstant pavements
their soles of feet now charcoal
battle ridden and exhaust smudged
thankfully though always to be
in the latest à la mode
florescent Italian sandals
which are really made in some
plastic producing dingy factory in Lebanon.

All along,
the afternoon summer swamp
of tourists, beggars, suntanned posers
foreign languages at every tongue
I miss Arabic.
A man further away
primeval groans
from a thirsty dry throat
implores cars entwined in traffic
to make way
clear the road
frantic and almost insane
he gestures
black leather bag caught
between his arm and damp waist
his striped shirt
tame and office like
he lunges again defaming
the people with no conscience
to move out of the way
confusion filters through on the intersection
where he stands
causing apathetic tourists and ray bans
to stop and turn their heads in raw obedience
at the expression of reality
at the uncontrolled tone of voice
which rises and breaks
like the salt water on Raouche
like nerves being played with a taught violin bow.
Intrusion of undiluted emotions
in the upper lip sweat of day
between the car exhausts and yawns
finally
traffic eases from afternoon orange
to blue of night.

His child is sick
immobile in a car caught between
indifference and concrete
at the beginning of the standstill street
tauntingly 50 meters away
from the city’s best hospital
the wailing man’s
grey face, cigarette lips, arms motioning
when the car carrying his own pained body
passes next to him
hurry he says, now silent and only motioning.
The battered red car speeds down the road
and he with his black leather bag
collected higher into his chest with a gripping churn
he runs down the street
a man of 48
shameless in his pain
and his unhindered love he runs
on the uneven asphalt
awkward and panting
his body now seeming frail as it
juggles the weight of worry and age
he runs
while many of us in the city
stand around and watch.

August 14, 2010

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