natalie ak scott
my sweet beirut
I wrote a poem to Beirut over a year ago. I asked myself this morning why my heart is breaking so much since the explosion. But after reading what I wrote, I remember why. It’s raw and unedited.
my sweet beirut
I love you in that you welcome my foreignness and strangeness with open arms and give me pastries for free. (I saw a bakery owner giving an American family’s kids pastries and candies for free. They couldn’t communicate, but when does love and care and hospitality need a language?)
the city where there’s color high in the sky
(trees that go up the tall buildings and into each balcony and send pops of pink and yellow and purple and white out of the concrete jungle)
the city of old yellow buildings with bright green shutters that mark the survival of war and mirror the strength and the beauty of its people
next to: a sheer black straight edge glass building
history next to innovation
the city that helps every centimeter of space feel needed and useful and loved (rooftop bars and nooks behind buildings and gardens on balconies)
where little chirping birds wake you up with the sound of passing motos and and cars honking at water trucks because how in the world do these huge trucks fit in these tiny streets?
where Sunday’s teach you what it looks like to slow down and to be with family because: of course, it’s Sunday
the city that marked me; “your Beiruti accent”; never have I been more proud
I’ll miss you, pink buildings
I’ll miss you, green shuttered houses
I’ll miss you, guy double fisting teeny Arab coffee cups on the back of a moped
I’ll miss you, guy riding by on your red scooter with your red helmet singing an Arabic song
I’ll miss you, life.
and now your colors are shattered.
the sounds of the city replaced by the sound of crashing, tinkling glass
I will love you forever, my sweet beirut. loving you is effortless. your love and your vibrancy and your strength flirt their way into hearts and have a way of staying there. as long as you hurt, I hurt. your name is a constant prayer on my lips.
beirut beirut beirut.