A Heretic Has Problems Too
They accuse me of heresy
and free speech advocates go
crazy. Satanic Verses hits best
seller status and true believers
put a price on my head.
All I really wanted was to rise
in the morning, face west,
feel the sun on my face
and jingle a little change in my pocket.
Now I have to worry about
a bullet in my skull.
The senior editor at Viking Press
says Salman, sales are great,
and wants to know when he can expect
more pages on his desk. My wife is weeping
in the next room and calls
for a flight to anywhere,
careful not to give her real name.
I feel myself dissolve
into the woodwork, into the flowered
wool carpet, into that imaginary world
this novel has created. Maybe I can
go to that island where if one wife
leaves, youve still got a couple left.
But, just my luck, that place might
be where the peace train stops
and Cat Stevens, i.e. Yusuf Islam,
would be waiting there to greet me.