To a Gunman | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 03, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 03, 2017


To a Gunman

in memory of the Dhaka terror attack

Like the mysterious rise of your enemy's language,

I'm simply out there where love gets voted down,

where hate crimes are only other things on the rise,

where misfits like me either remain misfits all their life 

or make headlines only as upturned cockroaches.

If I ever trembled before your gun-barrel, I'd say:

Before you are done with me, stay with me a bit longer.

Do me a favor – wait a little with me to watch squirrels

climb up a tree over there by the lake. Look, how smart

and death-defying they are, hoarding nuts into that 

tree's gnarled twigs hollowed by termites and swept 

clean by the south wind. The music of ripples on the lake

soothes their minds like rain. By the way, did you know 

rain is the buzzing of bees vertically landing on flowers?

The moment I think of flowers I see the redness of roses 

immaculate as the blood you will spill today. It's as 

if you'd by mistake pour coffee onto my writing. 

Once I reined in the leash of my unrest by looking 

at those smart squirrels bringing nuts to their babies. 

I often come here to detox my evils. Shower me,

if you like, with bullets as if to water dying roses of my blood –

ink for your death script. Take this blood as my offering.

Even though no holy verse is ever written in blood,

only love gets bloodstains out as sunlight does darkness.

Sofiul Azam's poems have appeared in various poetry journals at home and abroad. He teaches English at Victoria University of Bangladesh.

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