Hallaj wants to say something

ALAA HASANIN – Translated by: Ibrahim Al-Sharif

I want to die
as a hungry dog
on a public road
in broad daylight
that throws its own corpse
like an old shoe
on a pavement
and leaves.
I don’t want heroics
I don’t dream of dying young
a good death
so that my picture can become a flag
my name a song
that children chant each morning
while they are giving the salute.
I don’t want a proper death
I want a proper life
I don’t want my hands and feet to be chained
to spend all my life
in a tight cell
throwing my days
out the window each morning
like cheap bills
counting the age of the universe
and feeling bored
on the pretext that
this will liberate my people,
curse my people.
Believe me
this was the last wish of Christ
when they were holding his arms
raising him to the cross:
to die like a dog on a sidewalk
a dog that people step on its tail
and carry on their way,
this was his wish
I saw it in his eyes
so much so that
if they had given him a few more minutes
he would have shouted out:
take me down from my cross now
you idiots
I don’t want to die
so that you can go to heaven.
Does anyone else
want to be another christ?
He must know
that Christ,
if he were alive
in moments like these,
would turn his back on him,
while they were raising him upon the cross,
foolish boy
foolish boy.
Is there anyone
who still doubts that Christ
never, never wanted
to be Christ?
Is there also anyone
who still doubts
that the last wish of Hallaj[1]
that the chains be removed from his wrists
and that he would leave,
just go
and drink a toast with his woman!
Hallaj as well
whispered in my ear,
words no one heard,
he said:
be a good boy,
say yes to every police officer you come across
and go,
live to the last edges of life,
find a matching woman
run with her after rivers and birds
hold her hand
fly together
and when you grow tired
land gently on the grass
and while the sun tickles your faces
laugh happily
laugh a lot
just like that
until the end of days.


[1] Perhaps explain who Hallaj is? Muslim scholar and philosopher, and a prominent figure in Sufism. His promoted spirituality, anti-materialism and pantheism through love of God. Many of his ideas were deemed by some of his contemporaries to be blasphemous. He was accused of heresy, witchcraft, claiming divinity, and apostasy, although many later scholars have denied these accusations, and dismissed them as superficial interpretations of his works that may have stemmed from ulterior motives. Hallaj was executed, andsome sources claim he was crucified while others that he was burnt alive, with some mentioning that his head and other body parts were hung up throughout Baghdad.

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