Violets peep in through your eastern window. You are a picture now of what you were. Smile at your sisters. Smile at me – we are all tulips here, white, cut out of paper.
Something keeps me so distanced from you. It’s not a buzz. It’s a whirlwind before. Forgetting, after. So, I soothe feathers when my mother’s friends die. I soothe feathers when she dies. I sit across a valley town, and hope that you’ll never distract me from the track of silence. You’ll breathe in storms and let them out only when you must. That way, you’ll become a sea. Unimaginably of the waters. A few feet above the ground, I’ll buy enough of the sky, and when it’ll rain, when it’ll rain…
I hope I am never distracted from the track of silence. You’ll breathe in storms and let them out only when you must. Look at my house - last night, one of those mid-nights again, its roof with all our rooms
began to fall apart.
Tonight, I give you my un-homely arms.
Gather them around yours like it’s the end.
Under fields of yemberzal* once they lay, and
mine is still a dream – a river as dried up as then.
Will you pick up the stranger here at your door?
Will you please stay alive as I must stay?
In the name of the sea as my no-man’s land,
may we stand apart in this rain.
*A flower that blooms abundantly in the Valley of Kashmir
We sit in a room left behind empty, after the war. We've met after a hundred years when remnants are only of a night. I sit on a mound of all that were broken, burnt, and am high enough
to look into the rhythm of your heart.
From the ruptures on the western wall, you've learnt questions:
If I die now and am reborn again,
will anything be lost?
I look at your feet. You hardly have a grip over this world.
Nothing shines bright over war crimes, I look up straight to tell you.
Nothing shines bright but this time…
Nothing at all but this time between us.
Sometimes Begum Akhter’s voice comes in waves
across the field behind my house, through our northern
window and stops right at the doorstep – our old door,
whitewashed, scratched out, nights written on its back.
I don’t regard moments, it seems - so dead is your visit tonight.
There are three distinct lines on both my palms. Sometimes
they burst open, and the blood trickles down my wrist,
my knees, my feet – a slow unperturbed route to where
you last stood,
and sometimes a reluctant detour to where Baba sleeps.
Don’t come back again, if you can. How redundant is this stop
for a breath! You’ve only the heart to wade through rivers,
and I’ve barely the time to stay.