Untitled

 

I look up, again, at the cold moon

pressing its face against the windowpane,

sucking the edges of the corner table,

closing the language door.

 

In sleep,

I am walking to the graveyard

waking every insect

not in sight.

 

And mornings

always full of father

splitting an anthology of breaths,

now capable only of bloodline

in my wife’s womb.

 

The moon won’t use the door, only the window.
– Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

(Feb 2017)
Italics | Rephrased from Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (translation by Coleman Barks)

 

Suicide Note

                    

When I die— in winter

of all seasons

 

Bury me in a mosque

near my home

in the vicinity of a tree-temple

 

So when they come

dragging it

they will also find a corpse— frozen

waiting to be bristled

 

Then a season later

compose a railway track over it,

carrying all the faces I’d have not known

all the faces I could’ve ignored,

 

And when they come

burning it

shower them with icicles

 

And when you have a feast

following their retreat

do not whisper my name

 

So the faces wouldn’t know

I could not build.

 

 

                                                          I have signed, O my enemy, your death–warrant                                                                                                                              Agha Shahid Ali

(Nov 27, 2011)

Around Silvered Lapses

 

              On sister’s birthday, to Sana

Little wheel-like things crisscross

on city midnights, and

where I coil this

nothing tracks down to you.

In fifteen years

I have not pinched orange skin,

snarled at by an amnesiac cat, or hid

between parents’ quilts.

It’s permanent to have you

traffic-spotting behind that green gate,

your small head next to mother’s waist

in holly patterns on the kitchen wall,

still clay-parrots on the windowsill

a blink away before you sleep,

on an unexpected rainy afternoon,

for healthiness, I confused

a bitter pill into your mouth:

at the mouth of thinkings gallery

not all hours are full of fears.

Where I coil this,

frayed white sleeve-edges scuff

distinct hair on my wrists,

like hasty men of conurbations

brush faces on local trains,

a camouflage of time in my bedroom,

every day of this year, sheds skin:

my other half is a condensery of lost language,

consisting of you.

(Nov 5 – Nov 8, 2009)

Monsoon in Hometown

                      A survivor of present

                      — memory is instant.

I could walk so I flew,

stumbled forecast,

saw everybody turning

a tattered face,

 

in an awkward pause

the tin-roof spasmed

on the wall, violence ensues

even an old building.

 

The epigraph severed

through the rainyard.

 

                            Monsoon is too pretty a name for a season as messy as this.

                                                                                         Nadeem Aslam, Season of the Rainbirds

 
(Jul 11, 2010)

panic

The last of gravedigger’s wives
wriggles while bathing,
neck cold as leaves shivering –
aftermath of rainy nights.

Several hours ago, rubbed
against jute, storm after storm
inexplicably sweet lashes burned

her faint-less skin brown.
Growing brown, her fingers
excavate down his shoulders
where fireflies would drown.

Yet. In cold night dreams
he clumps lightning in her ears,
her body melts in his palms

of mud and skin.

(jun6 – jun25, 2010)