Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Armine Iknadossian: Beirut Blues

Remember the curtains Mother?
How they wrapped their arms
around the sofa on windy days,

how the blue-tongued ocean below our window
licked the painted toes of French tourists in bikinis?

Remember tea parties on the balcony,
the red dress you sewed for me
right out of the latest issue of Burda magazine?

And then the missile's cry,
how its whiny trajectory fooled us

as it lit up the summer sky during rooftop dinners.
They weren't for us, were they?

But that day we hid behind the sofa,
you and I, they were for us that day,
the day we ran down the stairs

to the damp and dim below,
down where death could not reach

and the breath of life was quick at our feet.
I remember more,
but let's talk instead about

the dancing curtains, the wide mouthed sea,
porcelain tea cups and Father coming home.

This poem has appeared in the website Poets Against War.