By Taya Osman
October’s stealth light
leavens the skin
then molts into Nuttall Oaks.
No preamble to a scream
interrupts the glistening rub
of downward wings
except for the hum
of poets acquainted with one another.
The one made of bronze
cools the day’s fire from their breaths,
so that news of faraway
places lifts briefly,
and in this afternoon
there are no bodies scraped
from deformed fans in Kashmir
nor children gushing out
of cemented pipes in Gaza.
For a small wrinkle,
the women of Tahrir
caress dragonflies with their fingertips
and flood the tank’s tenuous arm
with bracelets of jasmine.
The dormant fountain
in the garden
is only an ode
to the sea
but not shadows
as we toll
through a penultimate line
proclaiming the time was neither
Man climbing up the traffic pole, first night of the Lebanese Revolution. 17 October 2019.
Beeping motorcycles going around the fire pit in Downtown Beirut. 17 October 2019.
People gathering on the fifth night of the revolution. 21 October 2019.
Protesters in Baabda Highway. 13 November 2019.
The egg, a revolutionary landmark. 1 December 2019.
Protester giving the middle finger. 3 December 2019.
Protesters running from tear gas on the day of Parliament’s confidence vote. 11 February 2020.
Excessive tear gas fired at the protesters on the day of Parliament’s confidence vote. 11 February 2020.
A burning bank on
Photograph by Em Mahmoud, a Cairo-based photographer
The storm descended on Cairo, bringing chaos to the urban desert. Gusting winds downed power lines and uprooted date palms. The devil rose with the dust, banishing the sun from its perch and shrouding the city in an orange haze.
Local authorities told citizens to wait out the storm. Most heeded the advice, choosing to observe the strange phenomenon from the safety of their homes. A young boy peered through a window overlooking the Nile. His mother sat beside him, her eyes fixed on the television. The father was across from them, lost in
Photograph by Sima Qunsol
During late July of last year, I went to my regular café to meet a friend visiting from out of town. He was running late, so I ordered my Americano and sat outside to read. It was one of those summer mornings that held so much promise: I woke up early, had a brief but pleasant exchange with my cab driver, and was greeted by the barista like an old friend when I arrived. This was the kind of coffee shop where everybody knew everybody. It was always packed with young freelancers who headed there under