It’s a sad thing, having five fingers

ALAA HASANIN – Translated by: Ibrahim Al-Sharif.




Such a sad thing it is
for a person
to have five fingers,
a heart
that looks like a lump
in an old shirt
and friends
like toothache.
 
 
Everyday
the sun rises,
pale,
food turns to ash
in my mouth
and how hard it becomes
to walk
towards the sink.
 
The world is black
the trees are black
the door handles are black
and people’s faces
look like defecating.
 
And that is why
they restrain me on the bed with belts
and inject me with a burning pain.
Then the world starts vanishing
the faces disappear,
that would show up in the ceiling.
 
My doctor says:
I shouldn’t stay alone.
I can’t understand
how someone
can be friends with people
who don’t exist?
 
I don’t exist
the people in the street
don’t exist
even my poor doctor
doesn’t know he only exists
in my head
and that he disappears
as soon as I close my eyes.
 
I’m not a lonely person
I am the only person
in this world,
and all the people
are merely things I imagine.
 
And when I hang myself
from a ceiling fan
the world will end.
That is way
they tie me to a bed
and ask me
to stay alive.
 
One day they found me
scraping my skin
there was blood everywhere
and I heard them say:
he was trying to kill himself.
 
They were so wrong,
I was trying
to replace my skin with paper
and I had great ideas
about using my veins
like clothes-lines
and I was trying
to bury my feet in dirt
to grow a tree of fingers
and I wanted to melt
and recreate myself
anew
 
and instead of being
one thing
I want to be a ball
and containers
and Chinese boxes
and woollen sweaters
and clothes-lines
I want to be a road
an old doorstep
and a black raven.
 
But my doctor says:
humans are flesh and blood.
That’s why I feel the rotting
the blue bruises in my heart,
just rotten meat.
 
And I say to my doctor:
close your nose with a clothespin
the smell of meat is everywhere
and isn’t it sad
having five fingers?

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