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jay Oct 2020
to be damascene,
you cease to exist in dimashq
you start living behind the scene.
you fall in love with a mask
and an infinite faces underneath.
you learn her names without needing to ask
and you carve them onto your heart,
letter by letter, one after the other.

to be damascene,
you cease to remember what love and hate mean.
you start loving the rain and the scathing heat,
you start hating the brick walls and the old streets.
you fall in love with yasmeen
and imagine him tattooed on your skin;
little white flowers drawn in black ink,
so fragile yet so keen.

to be damascene,
you start loving from the bottom of your heart
which desires the unspeakable,
the good, the bad, the colourful, and the gray
and you start hating from the depth of your eyes,
which have seen far too much
to let you turn your head away
and act like everything is okay.

to be damascene,
you cease to love unless it’s a sin,
you let go of the songs and the notes,
and you start to sing along
with birds and bricks and bullets.
you treasure memories over lives,
and you let go of the present,
all you do is reminisce.

to be damascene,
your words cease to make sense
as you mourn the present tense,
and you worry about the jasmines
and the city you grew up praising and cursing,
but you remain painfully aware
despite all the senseless words no longer say,
and all the things you cease to be —

to be damascene
is to belong to a city unlike any other;
an immortal city with an undying soul.

and if your body falls
the way jasmines do,
and if your home falls
the way bullets do,
and if your world falls
the way lovers do,

she will still be there:

a new world will rise
and she will be there still,
right in the center.
she will have a new name
but her children will rarely use it.
she will live a new chapter
and her children will be writing it.

to be damascene, is to believe in it.

— The End —