Anjar

by Nadia Tueni

History has cut off his head,
but his dancer’s body shimmers like a party,
this morning in the Bekaa.

It looks like a flight of gulls
fallen upon acacia –
Or perhaps a white whisper
Asleep on a poppy.

Anjar was the daughter of the Umayyads,
Friend of caravans and a nomadic dream.
Calies the palace to the mosque of God,
spider paths like a meticulous drawing.
Anjar was a Muslim city,
With a severely enclosed arcade laughing;
Outside its walls a barbican,
and ingenious patios.

History has cut off his head,
but his dancer’s body shimmers like a party
a morning fantasia.

There were merchants here,
from every land,
Orchards of the Orontes and Afghan highlands,
Of lands outside the enclosure time.

There were winds here.

History has cut off his head,
but heavy Bekaa shimmers like a party,
a hallelujah morning.

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