“The Afterfeel” by Perla Kantarjian
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.
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
in this world everything crumbles like dust
pulverizing existences in seconds.
sons and daughters and lovers being pushed
into the shaken ground,
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]