‘Beirut is thirsty,’ he tells them;
but Beirut is too far and too long ago
for them to care. What they really want,
is to be done with him.
The tutorial too.
How can I make them understand?
How can I tell them
that his book isn’t about coffee or water,
or even about the bombing of Beirut?
That Darwish writes about history
from inside the red ink-bottle
of atomic bodies; the vacuum-
sealed mind of Feiruz’s love song:
I love you, O Lebanon.
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