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)