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November 2018

And you told me, Let's rearrange our fears So we can build a room To dance away the night. So you started Walking on the tightrope That is your life, And you started piling up What you dread the most. And I followed your lead Because you have always Been guiding the way. Always. And as the years Ticked by, Falling like a galactic Chain reaction of dominoes, We ended up Looking at a castle With thousands of ball rooms And a ridiculous amount Of fancy furniture. So you crowned me With your insecurities And I you with my mischief, And we became The broken rulers Of the sorry remnants Of our cancerous, Modern, society.

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As many of us have no doubt heard by now, a manuscript recently unearthed by a Ph.D. student at the local library has been definitively identified as the only known surviving document so far on the fabled public gardens of the city of Al Ghasaq. Though Al Ghasaq, or the City of Perpetual Twilight, is famous the world over for its meticulously-kept public gardens, the fact that no one has ever been allowed to set foot within them has left us with no documentation of their landscapes, until now. / In the thousand pages of Book I: The Rules of Impossibility, the

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It is the intensity of longing for the Guest that does all the work. - Malik Kabir Yes, you think as you pile up the dead leaves in the yard after a heavy rain. We’ve had nine Pacific storms this season, no letup, each one more devastating than the last. You want to believe, too, in some great sound beyond hearing, perhaps a rattling of bones coming together, what dreamers and prophets, in another realm, somehow heard. Instead, the bones in the dug up rice field randomly bleach white in the careless sun, and the widow in the Chinese graveyard washes them relentlessly every day with rainwater in the afternoon light. She doesn’t know she

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bring me to Larissa, no other garden town can be more merciful bring me to Santa Catalina bring me to Sidon from Argentina on an old train of the age of shy steel, 19th century fin that trembled with human hopes to a city carved in salt the roads blocked by the harvested corn and red peppers collecting a bit of rain bruising the skin I have been poisoned by that most poisonous of lies, that there is a place in the past to be longed for and mourned and place in the future that is a symphony to be played in the streets— I do not have to work to

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And this is when men first learnt to walk,And this is when they broke their feetWith the signature of the fat man.Now, we only take the ladder down,We walk through the tunnelAnd pass 500 years of fiery darkness.The waters freeze still in the rivers and our veins And the arms of our clocks go backwards:                                                         Twelve, eleven, ten, Phoenicia.In each sip of wine the fat man takes,3 souls die,A most holy trinity

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8Recycling/Reincarnation. There isn’t much of a difference between the two. You take trash, something dead and gone– poof – and give it another life disguised as a beige, heavily textured napkin in an overpriced coffee shop or a metallic solar panel meant to make the world a better place. I was a third grader, and I had just learnt what it meant to recycle. At the time, my extremely conservative school in the very Muslim city of Dubai installed a recycling center where I dumped everything I could lay my hands on: plastic cups, my daily Twix bar wrappers, books, and

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When I was a kidMy mother used to make me sit and color In one of those queer looking coloring books  And I did But then she’d come back And she’d tell me“Entre les lignes, ya mama” Between the lines “Colorie entre les lignes” Color between the lines And I triedBut I couldn’tColor between the lines The lines “Les lignes ya mama”“Il faut colorier entre les lignes”You haveTo,the linesColor between the lines

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I want to breathe a new form of air one that satiates your lungs with purity to cleanse all sense of toxins I want to walk on new streets ones that my feet marvel at their authenticity and newness and enjoy new footsteps as they conduct harmonies to and fro I want to embrace bodies whose core burns with elation, one that transfers itself to yours I want to kiss lips whose softness melts the toughest of hearts whose wetness quenches the greatest of deserts I want to lay next to him one whose magical powers paralyze all sense of my insecurities burying them under layers of love and affection                        

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For Hala I may have had a drink or two. I drank the milk of the moon, I drank the sea But I am still thirsty, Mother. Your hymns have cut my throat, Beirut, Your hymns have disfigured my limbs,                                                       Dismantled my parts. And as I tried to gather my organs, Thrown onto your solitary sidewalks                                                  

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Originally intended to be developed as a massive touristic site, the area of Ouzai, located on the outskirts of Beirut’s southern suburbs, has become defined by a large, impromptu settlement of people who had originally fled to the area in search of refuge from the violence of Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon during the civil war. The illegality of these settlements, paired with occasional violence and poverty, has subsequently manifested an exceedingly negative stereotype of the inhabitants of Ouzai. In an effort to deconstruct such overarching generalizations, I conducted an interview with an Ouzai native, Amina Khansa.((Name has been changed.))

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