Walking Al-Manara on a Tuesday Night

By Nina Mouawad

I could have sworn he was telling the truth as
his hands unfolded, knees falling to the ground, calling out
to the formerly-black cat under the now-smooth concrete bench.
I leaned back on the railing – foot propped up,
back facing the non-existent waves, as his kneeling silhouette
faced me.

The cat sprinted away because
this isn’t a movie. He pulled himself up, a cigarette out
and me close. There’s a bittersweet ache
to walking for 9 hours in Converse and Timberlands
that Before Sunrise didn’t know about.

We reached the lighthouse again, this time
with one shadow, arguing about the significance of
words versus images. He flicked the butt, back into the sea, and
turned around to shut me up. Smoke always tastes better
on someone else’s lips.

We sat on the ground slipping our pairs of legs under
the railing, willing morning into existence. But on the stones
below, a fisherman had given up
on waiting. “I don’t really like cats,” he said
as he lifted his father’s camera
to the wine-dark horizon.


Nina Mouawad is a Lebanese poet and Master’s student of English Language and Literature at the University of Balamand. Her work has appeared in Act One: Cutting Edges and Rusted Radishes.