Ahmad Abdul-Hussein

Translated by: Khalida Hamid

Ahmad Abdul-HusseinWhat’s your name?
A groan of a father whose idols are sweating beneath his armpits.
a gaze of a hawk that removes the foam of noon from the world.
the mothers at the courtyard bandaging the house’ wound and backing a tumbledown tree.
I am- while ascending the stairs- blind led by his courage to his four traps:
D (1)

On the roof,
the air was pleasing the washing rope and dovecote’s sand.
The shirts were fluttering desperately,
And my name; the child, was too light to be about to fly.
I had a name.
Once I quickly descended the stairs being eyes that were crying - after it was too late- a father who shares me dawn and fire hiss.
I heard someone whispering behind me:
We descended him to show him pain and teeth chatter.
We descended him and watered him vinegar with a sponge.
We descended him to burn the crown of thorns on his head.
We descended him and the “him” in (We descended him) was a sign to The Identity of the Absolute: He.
He whose features are buried alive in me.
He whose drums are beating in the ear of my blind childhood.
Where is He?
Where are His names and attributes tricking my names and attributes to persuade me to the desert?
O, He!
What a maze that persuaded You?
How many mirrors that repeated You till You came back to me burdened with breaths?
As if I’m the one who reminds me of You;
throbbing with the concomitants of certainty like the heart.
As if I’m the one who shields your longing to me.
I am the one who separates you and me with this veil brocaded with calls for help:
The “A”: a call of dump angels that awakes the directions.
The “H”: a call of a wounded mountain goat at the mouth of fountain.
The “M”: a call of a boat fragmented in the guffaw of sea.
The “D”: a call of carnelian raised to be tested in the eye of the sun.
My name is my call for myself as if I’m calling the deaf journals’ boy.
A call that does not reach but in vain.
Just like the call of Midea in a rainy airport pushing her suitcase and laughing.
Just like the call of Kawthar in the status of might asking about the Pantheism and disconnection of electricity.
These low calls reminded me of my father.
He used to say:
A name is a house one can enter neither from above nor from beneath,
neither from yesterday nor from today,
but we are clashing in it as if it were our fortified den;
our birthplace that we forgot for being too close to.
it could be the sudden that, before we index, had started to dig in our close air.
I also remembered:
All the names, including my own, are messages that were burnt before being written.
All the names are signs of The Identity of the Absolute: “He”.
“He”: the poisonous lying cold womb with whose contradiction and relaxation I be.
“He”: a crowd of void that blocks my way.
“He”: a filled up archway between man and himself.
And me, I had a name.
Once, at the end of my days, I dreamt that I slaughter my father.
I woke up holding a sword handle and above my head a bird- without name- shouting:
“He, O He!
How much air the wings proliferated on and it cannot fly but with you!”
Since then, I no longer had a name.
-What’s your name?
-A fire that wants to be extinguished but it cannot.