Make me more simple. Extinguish
the greater part of my life.
If to burn is my destiny, permit me
to turn to ash the dry leaves at the feet
of trees so that they might one day
become a greater forest.
Tell the sad stories to the sky:
the orchid dying before it blooms; the fruit dropping
before bearing seeds; the bird who, lost in smoke,
lost its nest as well—so as to make her cry,
for her to shed tears. For seedlings to sprout,
to leaf, and for the forest to be green again.
Return me to the garbage heap in the city,
to the hearths of those who hunger,
to the blood of those who shiver in loneliness,
to the husband and wife who sleep
with their backs to each other.
Make me free from pride.
© M. Aan Mansyur. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2019 by John McGlynn. All rights reserved.