Saturday, November 19, 2016

On seeing Pakeezah, again, after twenty years

The evening, the ruins,
even the further shadows of trees,
still wear the jewel of Nargis's abandonment.

Each night, they pay
the unending debt
of her refusal.

Her sister, sketching
the sky with Nargis's last days,
still says - how much you must have cried,
how much,

before your resolve was
whetted against that last night of grief,

before you wrote
that letter,

before you left
the moonstone of your loneness
for Sahib Jan to inherit.

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