RR

April 2021

Photograph by Jana Khoury Night city skylinein the elevated blue blurof concrete pots Stored, engorgedwith succulence,in empty space, like atoms Like peopleand ceramic goatspoised stillon impossible mountains Like strips of southern blotsblotching the chromatic etherpolychrome black Last night of the old citynew things risingslowly like stars Small things dyingon a windowsillplants in beer bottles, hope Lights out in towers 2 and 3Someone burning the midnighttungsten filamentlooking up at redeyes Leave me alonein precarious refugein suicidal silhouettesweet succulent The promise wasyou take care of meand I take care of you Power cuts and no starsNo moon in the night skyNo

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"Give Me Your Guts" by Omid Shekari I was sitting with my family when the floor of our apartment rocked back and forth. The emergency physician in me had drilled this moment time and again since moving from Baltimore to Beirut eleven years ago, to a city re-built on the ruins of many seismic tragedies. Before I could direct my daughters away from the windows, a loud rumble followed by a deafening explosion blasted through the glass panes, sparing only the one behind us.  For a moment, we all stood frozen there in our living room, absorbing the damage

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Photograph by Lujain Jo The sun in Abu Dhabi returns to her pink bed behind the sea;in the background, a song plays: "Gypsy, I'll always be."Above me, the night crops the sky as I stroll the city's Cornicheand recall Oslo's blue sunset, rising behind its wooden pier.How in Vienna the sun retreats behind the Danube;while in London it floats like a ship sailing against the Thames.I remember Sevilla and its orange sunset, the "Great River" in the middle,dividing two cities; one for sunrise and one for sunset.And how many cities does a sunset divide like a river

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