So you thought death had neared?
How it swirled in the caskets, hissing juice.
You licked your chops, drunken bastard that you are.
The sofa cushions were oppressed under your weight,
As you flicked from channel to channel, free hand
fondling the emptied sacks.
Something sick in your nature rejoiced. No one was
going to bomb your SoHo dump
But the possibility heated your blood to a fraction
below boiling point.

I picture you sticking your head out of the window,
(matted hair stuck to a scalp that hasn't seen soap
for weeks)
Hazy eyes scanning the distance for falling bodies.
'Are the skirts of the women going up?' You pat
On the back: such thoughts are the artist's domain.

Were you insane, or truly gifted I might forgive
the foulness of uttering, the eczema of turbid
Dog barks thrill at first
then grow tiresome like the sight
of your unkempt beard.

When the following day failed to bring more mayhem,
the black dogs were back at the door, scratching the wood with their paws.
White pages are good at darkening black moods.

You did not have to wait for long. Just under a month
to be exact.
I see the sofa slumped, the remote buttons slick with
takeout grease.
It may as well be 91 again,
'Death is art' or some
other lump
of wisdom
tumbles out of your mouth in spit-dabbled,
Single-malt whispers.

Hassan Abdulrazzak

Pro- and anti- war demonstrators in Union Square, NY, October 2001.
(Photo taken by Hassan Abdulrazzak)

If you've any comments on this poem, Hassan Abdulrazzak would be pleased to hear from you.

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