Anything but Stationary

by Huma Dar
for my N, Z, many Shahids, and the One

Write to Me.  photo credit: Natasha Dar, 2012
Write to Me. photo credit: Natasha Dar, 2012

The moon did not become the sun. 
It just fell on the desert 
in great sheets, reams 
of silver handmade by you. 
The night is your cottage industry now, 
the day is your brisk emporium.  
The world is full of paper.

Write to me.
Agha Shahid Ali, “Stationery”

The tilted goblet drips
Pacific amber:
liquid lunatic luminous.
And makes a slippery mess
of Highway 1
the night
memory and desire —
relentless, ebon, a plumbless
dream of falling.
Like tresses distraught
entwining your imagined arm
(make the bleeding black night
all yours)
your aching memories knotted in my gut
my exiled ghost lost, found
and willfully entangled
in the lines of your words
your stone-cold feet in my shaalfa —
an ablution performed in blood.

The wretched, the “brother to the dogs,”
was the only sacred I knew.
Where are you now? Who lies beneath your spell tonight?
Whom else from rapture’s road will you expel tonight?

No longer night,
the moon withdrew
before the Shams of noon.
I try to, but cannot quite
recall when:
the road was just a road
the night, just a night
and the sun and moon
just the sun and moon —
all free
of memories of desire
or desire for memories.

kaaGhazi hai pairahan har paikar-e tasveer ka

Robed in paper are all pictures manifest:
this world is nothing but
Your paper!
Rustling seraphim wings the clock-hands —
baroque reed qalams
dipped in the inky economy of time —
intersect in cycles of yearning.
In capriciousness
You bid me
into existence.
To whom do I protest
Your insolence?
When there’s none but
I have written, now
You “write to me.”

Writing With Light
Writing With Light.  Photo credit: HD, 2013


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