Going and Leaving

The debris       rose from the fire
the air thickened with the name of God
I missed it      by a mile or two
far out where the land had begun to expire.

I rode    my family’s last surviving vehicle
And all my belongings    traded for board
with my mother’s three thousand     lulls
our memories thrashing around in the water, cold.

They catch you      on the streets of Izmir
We will catch a cold in this    downpour      
they know you by the chains you drag here    and even there
they don’t know if we’ll survive the White night

Forty swollen eyes in a twelve-seat bus, blackened windows
Fifty-four on a flimsy rubber dinghy
We shared a vision      of green Europe and its snows
We will parcel the algae.

“It should take around an hour.”
Had the night not been this long
They left us       and had the Afghan work the motor
but only the currents carried us, each a lamb led to the slaughter
We held the crying       children with the salt in their eyes
The sea salted the wounds     in the rubber
We had the Mediterranean reprise the name of God
and we all toppled to sea.

Rami Abi Ammar

Rami Abi Ammar, grew up in a quiet, green town in Mount Lebanon, where he developed a strong connection to the natural world. Now a biology student at the American University of Beirut, Rami finds this connection growing and becoming more evident in his creative work. It is intriguing to study nature from a scientific standpoint, but he sees that the patterns of nature are deeply reflected in human nature and provide insight as well as comfort. Rami hopes to bring some of that insight and comfort back to Beirut, where greenery and harmony are ever receding.

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