When God is Dead

Hassanal Abdullah

When God is dead
I will swim in the river.
I will play football
And get a lot of fans
To cheer for it.

When God is dead
I will climb the big tree up
In Forest Park
Near my house
And kill all the squirrels
To save my garden of vegetables.

When God is dead
I will eat a tuna fish sandwich
And five fry cockroaches
As side order
And ask you guys to rethink
About Mosses, Jesus,
Mohammed, and Krishna
For whom you have been killing
Each other for centuries.

When God is dead
I will stop writing poems
And believe me, my lady
I will be in a bed with you
For three consecutive days and nights
Without saparating.

Remembering the Facts

Hassanal Abdullah

Standing in front of the ER
Of the North Shore University Hospital
At 5 a.m., I was observing
How the morning breaks on the Queens skyline
And trying to remember
How terrific was my family life
Before my four-year-old son,
After vomiting five times in an hour,
Had to be brought here at 1:30 a.m.

I put a little more strength into my feet
Knowing I had to go to work
At 6:30 a.m. without closing my eyelids
In my bed for even a few minutes.

Finally, the doctor came, examined him,
And, within just ten minutes, released him.
"It's just a stomach virus," he declared.
(Not like the Melissa upsetting
My computer files for more than a year.)
"Give him a lot of liquids and soft food
For a couple of days," he said and walked away.
I was standing, waiting for a taxi.

A little light glowed out of the East.
Two cars passed, their headlights beaming,
Printing my shadow on the emergency door
And gradually sliding it along the long wall.

I was standing, waiting for a taxi.
It was the end of a horrible night,
But the terrible day lay just ahead of me.

Swatantra Sonnet - 77

Hassanal Abdullah

I've heard the noble sound of your footsteps, my love.
Come, come closer, and open your heart. Spread
The fragrance of your lovely breasts. Let the door
Be closed. Embrace me with your gentle hands,
And set your sweet lips on mine. Smile my love.
Keep crawling through my body to find my heart
That is as vivid as the ocean, trembling in ecstasy.

Take off the boutique sari and raise both hands
To untie your hair, and blow on me like petals
Of roses. Without you I am lonely, engulfed
By the dark. Implant the eternal light in me.
Don't bother yourself to make the bed tonight,
Rather sooth the warmth of my tense, tropical body
Spreading the purity of your own on it.

Translated from Bengali by the poet