Gheith Al-Amine: Two Poems

James Flynn, UV reactive acrylic on panel, 2019. Source:


Mohammad Shamsuddin left the blue planet
after he played Death for a long time,
thinking he’d fooled it for years.

At the demise of every year,
he would stall Azriel
by offerings cut off his living flesh.

Seven years went by,
and still he stalled the angel.

In the first year,
he sent him his appendix in a tiny wooden coffin,
then laughed out loud for hours.
The angel of darkness smiled broadly.

In the second year,
he handpicked for him two blood-red almonds
spattered with white polka dots,
then gargled with red vinegar.

In the third year he provided him with forty centimeters
from the lower end of his large intestine,
downed a bottle of whiskey,
then giggled for seven consecutive days.
The reaper smirked patiently.

In the fourth year he gave him a slice of his liver
fattened with a bundle of candles.

In the fifth year he offered him his gallbladder
filled with pebbles
picked off the sandy beach of Sour.

And in the sixth,
he gifted him his stomach
which he had cleansed devotedly
with cheap red wine.
Lucifer grinned affectionately.

Today at dawn,
Shamsuddin woke up,
calmly walked out to the courtyard
of his art studio In El-Bezouriyeh,
plunged his hand into his thoracic cage,
snatched his heart,
and threw it with disdain in a field.
Then he napped to oblivion.



On the rocky beach of Ras Beirut
by the ugly lighthouse
striped vertically in red,
a woman in all her allure
sits by herself
and reads her book carelessly in the sun.

Amused by the scenery unfolding before her,
she watches at times
not too far from her,
kids lurking in the shallow waters.

Skinny boys stare straight at her charming curves,
eyelashes almost closed,
with extremely retracted pupils in between,
one hand above an eyebrow,
the other in the shorts,
biting their blueish lips
with chattering teeth
and wet hairs dripping in eyes
burning with salt and desire.

Tight bodies submerged from the waist down
in riveting numbness,
secretly climaxing at sea.