The Song of Death

Between God and you
A hammock holding a lifetime, me,
Seven skies falling to one prayer,
Janazah whispered upon the backs of eagles,
Death of I to a union of two doves,
Pearled tears navigating desert dunes, cheeks
The hills of Eden pressed with sun, with moon,
Endless seasons spilling Zamzam’s water, life.
On my axis, I spin, planets of silk
Catching the sun to my moon.
I make Hajj to your well,
Fold your wings over my heart,
Quilted, heartnotes
Descant vibrations on the rim
Of wine glasses, grapes, flowers,
10,000 Angels singing in unison,
A place to lay my head.
This language watches birds in flight,
Catches our descent
Footing us firm to earth, soil
Bloomed in blood where your hand
Carved poetry to my naked flesh.
Habibi, weave the stars to cloud
Heart white butterflies
A path to which I tread,
A seed and a flame alongside as I pace
Seven times your Ka’aba, my hand
Striking stone over the first man’s,
Abraham and Ishmael
Drumbeats speaking over skin,
Ovary and stamen stretch a rhythm
To my salat, in your arms.

Do you feel the water of life in my skin?

(C) A Hannan


11 thoughts on “The Song of Death

  1. so one might drink his fill from an ocean in the sand…the pendulum of hips swaying out the hours, anchored in moment by the half-moon gaze of smiling eyes, such a beauty to rejoice, the grace of love reborn in the liberty of potential, as a tear that falls in the desert is freed to take flight and fall back to the earth as life-giving rain…such is how your image resonates with me…

  2. On my Altar

    Abraham’s knife on Ishmael’s neck
    From before Yahweh’s mighty throne
    I take, in my hand a burning tongue
    That by your navel drips a piercing song,
    A crimson thin thread of blood
    That bursts, from your womb,
    A deafening moan of woe
    And calls the eagle’s talons from his high nest,
    My lips, teeth, and tongue in a licking upward descent
    Follow the thin line,
    A rush in my heart drinking life’s very sap
    And climbing to your lips,
    Searing your body with wings and palms,
    In your mouth pouring life – raw, unbridled, warm.

    Like Hagar’s hands waving the scorching sand,
    Building a rim round Zamzam’s mouth,
    My fingers knead your belly’s flesh
    As your navel, the spring and well,
    Purls and churns, sighs and shouts
    Moans and wails that rain over your breasts
    And my lips, sinking in your fresh bursting,
    A sun merging in an ocean,
    Birth me a sun in your dark womb.

    The sun in you and from within you melt,
    My body containing the shiver of your breath
    And my strength binding your body
    From the deepest depth,
    Entwining the white of our very spines
    In a union of two doves
    As my wings flutter our sweet fall
    Above the wails of Mecca’s walls,
    Women dressed in black and marching
    While the funeral of two flutters past their skies.

    “Habibi,” from your mouth a hot coal
    Into my palm falling, burning my skin
    And with the blood and pain
    That drench my fingers I sear
    Our song, a sacred prayer
    Into your skin,
    Upon the walls of your heart,
    And with the falling night
    I sit by you and read you
    As the tone of my voice,
    A tune fluttering from my lips
    And stroking your body’s every cell,
    Lifts you into my starry kingdom.

    My pilgrimage now I feel,
    A gush of wine rising through my spine
    And, reaching my dreamy lips,
    Flutters the sweetest word in existence:
    Habibati, a butterfly that you take with your lips,
    Snatch as an apple from the tree of sin
    And bite as the moistness drips,
    Colours of hues infinite run your full lips
    Oozing unto your chin, breasts, and merging
    With the spring of your belly which water,
    Now a crimson wine,
    Fills me with you, drunkenness divine,
    And your voice, an oh so soft hissing wind
    I hear in my heart invoking:
    “Bless my sin O God of mine.”

    With the falling stillness after the storm,
    The heat of our cloud condensing
    Water and rain stroking desert’s tongues,
    Finding the hidden paths
    Where Arabia’s ancient gods made love and war,
    You, serene in my lap, tangled in my arms,
    Waft on the wings of the sweetest breeze
    The prayer of dawn, the salat of our hearts.

    The life water in your skin I drink and I breathe into death’s wine. Drink now this hemlock from my mouth.

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