Fairouz, Edith, Nina: “That Bird Sings Only when she’s Unhappy”

My mother doesn’t listen to Fairouz
“It reminds me of the war”, she says.
On the radio, bombs outside,
“Li Beirut” melting on our window sills,
A splinter in our worn hearts.
The smell of sweat, bread and Jasmine,
“Li Beirut”.

“Si tu meurs, que tu sois loin de moi
Peu m’importe, si tu m’aimes
Car moi je mourrai aussi… »

A Hymn to Love, she has sung
On stage, holding a handkerchief
And her heart in her hand.
Her love had just died
On a plane from New York.
She heard, sang,
They clapped, wept,
She left, fainted.
And I,
I sit and listen
To Hymne a l’Amour.

A voice, like pouring wine
Words that you lick off your fingertips.
Brown sugar
Melting in tea.
Toasted castanea, hot in your hands.
Don’t smoke in bed.


About dimamatta

There is not much to tell... but everything to discover. *says I with a total lack of seriousness* I am a 22 year old English Literature BA holder, teaching English in Lebanon, at the Louaizeh Evangelical School. I mainly spend my time reading, writing, watching and acting in plays. View all posts by dimamatta

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