We are stripping Beirut of its skin

peeling dried walls

pestering the edges to rip another layer off.

We are out on the concrete

our running shoes are back home

our feet are burning

skin cracking like clay

Kintsugi, paint the broken with the gold of the revolution.

It pours chants from above Beirut

while it boils under with lumps of undigested truths

the city vomits sewage water

it struggles to wash its body clean

scraping fresh paint because it itches

feels unfamiliar


Modern buildings force their weight on the neighboring rubble

thinking they’d lead to the collapse of 1975, 1982 and 2006

other times they’re hogging the view of the green and blue

sweeping history under the carpet

like dispensable dust.

I once heard that my generation laments over golden ages that were never theirs.

Why are we trying to forget a past that isn’t ours?

What are we losing when we’re trying to forget?

We pull our sleeves up and refurbish

tools brand new but the instruction manual is worn out

in our workshop we’re always standing on a ladder

thinking we’re building but we’re stagnant on the steps.

Will that make the old obsolete?

Our culture clinks in our pockets like coins

it’s a global currency.

Are we willing to exchange it?

We are stripping Beirut of its skin today.

But at what cost?

Written on January 3rd, 2020

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