Verdict


Marian Wakimian

"Tell me,
in these last years
what did you lose
about Beirut?"

I scoff at the question.
"Nothing.
Nothing at all.
I didn't lose anything."

And they look at me,
Eyes widened,
Eyebrows furrowed,
Heads tilted.

I look back at them
With eyes unfazed
Pursed lips,
Shrugged shoulders.

"You can't lose something
When it has been stolen from you."
My chest feels like it’s under a hundred storey building,
My hands begin clenching tight, my throat aching.

The way the thieves had stood in front of me
In broad daylight
Wearing suits and ties,
And masks that only revealed their eyes.  

My heart grew a bit lighter
As the policemen passed by
"HELP. THE THIEVES. THEY ROBBED ME
THEY’RE STILL HERE."

The policemen, the 'pacifists'
They don't bat an eye
They pass the thieves
And my heart hardens in a second.

"CAN'T YOU HEAR ME? THEY ROBBED ME"
The officers turn around and face me
"I'm gonna have to ask you to quiet down,
You're disturbing the peace."

I look around, and find everyone watching
Some signalling at me in fear
With their index finger on their lips
Avoiding eye contact with the police

I find others on their knees
Handcuffed, bruised, mouths shut with cloth,
An officer or two beating them up
And throwing them out of sight.

Meanwhile, in the middle
The group of suited men
Stood tall and wide
Shaking one another's hands.

But everyone knew
What was stolen
As the clock ticked
6:08pm.

So no
I didn’t lose anything about Beirut.
Beirut inevitably remains, and shall return
To where it originally belongs.