Fathers reserved our marble graves

ALAA HASANIN – Translated by: Ibrahim Al-Sharif.

When I die
I want to become a boat
and sail in blueness.
I want,
I, the dryness
made out of
the sadness of the pavements
mothers’ rough slaps
and lonely steps,
to become a sunset
and sail towards myself.
Fathers reserved
our marble graves
and mothers picked
the colours of the caskets
the funeral flowers
are ready to be picked
and the wagons outside
and here to take my corpse away.
A lot of steps
behind the closed door
and no one taught the corpses
how to the open the morgue doors
how to stand on two feet
and disappear
into darkness.
And I,
I want to be light
blue lakes
and the sound of old footsteps.
The wagons outside
are here to take my corpse away.
My mother
stacks my old sorrow
in a wooden box
and the father, dead
since childhood,
came back
to walk in his own funeral.
And I, I am not a human
to be bundled up in a grave,
I am the son of pavements
who has fed
his raw flesh
to the mouth of the streets,
and when I was young
I was a firefly
a wooden oar
and I was the shadows of sorrow
in our old house.
But my mother weaved out of me
a small boy
and said: be my son.
When I was in the cradle
I would remember myself
when I was
a snow doll
and I would cry over the frost
But my mother
made me into a wooden box
and went on stacking sorrows
in my heart.
And the wagons outside,
oh last air
and green grass
I am going to miss,
are here to take my corpse away.
And I,
I am not a human
to be bundled up in a grave.
I am the stifled voice of life
and I want a child
so I can laugh inside his throat.

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