“The Afterfeel” by Perla Kantarjian

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Carpe Diem, Annahar’s literary page, is launching today “Verse Sanctum” with an inaugural poem by its executive editor.

by Perla Kantarjian -Source: Annahar

A destroyed silo at the scene of an explosion at the port in the Lebanese capital Beirut. ( AFP)

The Carpe Diem team will dedicate the segment’s upcoming issues to encourage everyone affected by the tragic Beirut blast to find psychological sanctuary in written verse. Submissions of either poetry or prose with a word count of 300-400 words will be compiled and shared with readers of Carpe Diem after being reviewed by the team. Through the “Verse Sanctum” initiative, we want to listen to your emotions, and provide for them a safe and welcoming haven.

 

The Afterfeel

Dedicated to the victims of the Beirut blast

i have not yet understood this thunder

that is loitering in the recesses of my hollowed heart.

 

for days it has been following me

in echoes crashing upon the idle tides of my evening dreams,

staining my very spine

with its shivers

left behind, far from forgotten.

 

the sun yet sinks and rises but there is another world

beneath my eyelids

shut. in this world it is always evening,

always a little past six, always almost

too calm in its loudness.

there is music, good people,

a friend smiling, lemonade in hand,

a blue sky alive and breathing-

there is a soft day almost ending, tenderness

and a feeling of home, and then there is nothing,

asudden, an aircraft hovering over our very heads

and then there is nothing, and everything

becoming at stake, all at once.

 

in this world there is my golden city and there is its womb

being torn open and bursting. there are wombs being torn open and

there is blood. there is a turmoil creeping

into the crux of the surviving mind, taking root.

 

there is screaming.

in it is a cold August. mothers breaking

into two. fathers sinking down below and shifting

into dimensions that have not yet

summoned them.

 

in this world everything crumbles like dust

pulverizing existences in seconds.

sons and daughters and lovers being pushed

into the shaken ground,

already returning.

 

in this world i find myself ricocheting between the streets

i watched go mad with movement and sound

deafening to the bone, with such quietness.

 

in this world i find myself running like wildfire

let loose, in the far too exposed open,

choking on my own saliva

before the flames rising in my chest

burn me to the ground

that has not even prepared a

place for me yet.

 

images of Beirut cracking open and swallowing me in

play around in my eyelashes,

vicious and haunting.

 

yet i tell my heavy heart to stay gentle

for perhaps through all this openness,

light will find its way through,

and bring us back our city

in all its radiance, divine again.

————–

Welcome to Carpe Diem, Annahar’s new literary section featuring prose and poetry- old and new, published or hidden within the nooks of unveiled pages of Lebanese writers. We welcome all contributions with the caveat that the section hopes to see rawness and authenticity in thought and emotion. Please send inquiries to Carpe Diem’s executive editor [email protected]

 

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