can i apologize now
BY HALA ALYAN
Have I returned all of Beirut:
the trash made high as an Ottoman wall
to keep the city out of the city.
One gull inside an airplane engine:
I haven’t seen Meimei in two years.
I’m afraid of her funeral. The six closets
of petite size pantsuits and muumuus.
Oh yes, I’ve wanted too much of her,
of the mountain saints
we returned to in the winters,
to ask for the right way to drink,
the gay bars where I tried to turn men,
seaman dialect, waxed everything,
sunset I dyed my hair after, sea I refused
to swim in for years, until the night I did,
a white boy’s hands pulling the tide,
seven million years of dead mornings,
like a grubby sheet over our heads.