Published in Padma Meghna Jamuna: Modern Poetry from Bangladesh (2010), edited by Kaiser Haq and published by the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature.
I am looking for a friend who will
share in my grief for my father, who will
take the polluted breath from my lungs;
when the ravages of winter upsurge in the city
his face will seem a packet of green tea, when
infectious diseases appear here and there
when the wasting disease rends my lungs with its sharp teeth
like termite-ridden currency notes,
when the police follow me around
suspiciously, he will throw me
tender bandages from a double-decker bus, will fling to me
a transparent magic handkerchief. I will fly as a bird from the police squad
to the disarmament meet at Geneva and tell them
I am my lover’s fugitive spy;
He will come to me in the darkness like a sly thief
and take all the sthalapadma blossoms from my pocket
he will whisper in my ear, that impossible rogue,
–Come on, let’s go see the night show.
And then he will constantly take me to the wrong address.
Still that awful rogue will share in all my mistakes
he will record all his sins in my diary,
bearing my sins in hand he will enter a church with the pride of a priest.
Everywhere in this city of Dhaka: the Press Club, the restaurants, the Racing
Grounds, I seek a friend to whom at the moment of my death
I can bequeath all these illegal treasures, this disrepute,
my debaucheries. In exchange he will forever supply me with sleeping pills
he will conceal the knife of my crimes in his heart, he will
write to my father
saying – Don’t worry about him, he’s such a good boy,
he goes to work nine-to-five; yet he will know all
my bad habits, all the flaws of my nature.
Still he will load his camera with film and go with me
to take pictures of a young man who has committed suicide, finally
he will ride on a train traveling to some small town and descend
at the wrong station;
Here and there, everywhere I have been looking for a friend
who will take me to hunt deer in the Sundarbans, who will pick out
the precious parts from the antlers and the transparent hooves, as if
he will make buttons out of the hidden hooves, he will
make loans to me everyday out of simple greed. Here
and there, in all the familiar places of the city I look for that
artless accomplice; everyday for all my life I advertise for a friend
but, alas, my blood group
never matches with anyone else.