Zeina Hashem Beck


Morning Prayer

(Sour, Lebanon – August 2018)

Thank you god of coriander & spicy potato
Thank you peeling wooden rails
Thank you god of sea foam
Thank you red buoy bobbing on the water surface
Thank you rock island in the distance
Thank you statue of Our Lady of the Seas
Thank you harbor
Thank you sumac on the tomato placenta
Thank you blackberry jam on the peach flesh
Thank you fumes of the motor bikes
Thank you sombrero on the public beach
Thank you newborn baby in the balcony of your mother’s arms
Thank you fat man with the big cross tanning on the plastic chair
Thank you drenched clothes of the clotheslines
Thank you flip-flop girl shouting curses in the alley
Thank you Mary of the small glass shrine
Thank you seagulls
Thank you horizon you are the goddest
Thank you cigarette butts
Thank you broken ship wheel on the seaweed stairs
Thank you full-lipped cashier
Thank you god of silicon & hyaluronic acid
Thank you god of the sun
Thank you god of the bed sheets
Thank you supermarket doorway grandma with the braided hair
Thank you girl behind the phone camera searching for the god angle of your friend’s face
Thank you hairs of my husband’s beard
Thank you dough of my hips
Thank you old flag in the wind I hello you too
Thank you songs of the colors on the walls on the doors on the shutters
Thank you waves with your ceaseless sh sh
Thank you stones of the fortress
What have you seen what have you seen
Little boat little boat goodbye
Little world little world I love you



Zeina Hashem Beck is a Lebanese poet. Her second full-length collection, Louder than Hearts, won the 2016 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize. She’s also the author of two chapbooks: 3arabi Song, winner of the 2016 Rattle Chapbook Prize, and There Was and How Much There Was, a 2016 Laureate’s Choice, selected by Carol Ann Duffy. Her first book, To Live in Autumn, won the 2013 Backwaters Prize. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Poetry, the Academy of American Poets, Poetry London, and World Literature Today, among others. Her poem,“Maqam,” won Poetry Magazine’s 2017 Frederick Bock Prize. She lives in Dubai, where she has founded the poetry collective PUNCH.

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