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.