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 Corniche
and 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 in the horizon?
How I love Tripoli at Day and Beirut at Night,
and loathe Tripoli at Night and Beirut at Day.
How I struggle to choose between the two banks of Paris.
In Toronto, the sunset unmasks the city, a red glow that blends lake
with sky and in Amsterdam the canals slice the horizon
into 160 pieces. At the Corniche, my thoughts and steps reach
an equinox, and I turn to find the night has filled the universe.
I am on the other side of the city. To return,
I have to climb up my bed and cross the horizon once more.
Sami Mahroum is an international academic and a socio-economic researcher from Lebanon who lived all his adult life in Europe, Canada and the UAE. His writings on technology and society have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and Project Syndicate. He has written literary prose since childhood but has decided to start publishing it now that he is about to turn 50.