Friday, February 17, 2017

Shahe Mankerian: WHERE I WAS BORN

Twenty years later, we went back to Beirut
and stood in front of CMC Hospital
for a photograph. We couldn’t go

inside because during the war,
it burned down, not because of misguided bombs,
but because a doctor set himself on fire

after they wheeled his dead wife
into the Emergency. Years later, hollyhock
bushes and wild fig trees covered the pink

and black walls of the entrance.
Militiamen had posted pictures of martyrs
on the crooked wall that separated

the sidewalk from the front lawn.
The statue of Virgin Mary with broken
hands cried near a dehydrated water fountain.

This poem appeared in Poetry City, USA, Vol. 6

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