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after Agha Shahid Ali

You have nothing of your own, do you have no regret about it? 

Look, even your hands are his hands. How did you forget about it?

We still don't get each other. You could have chopped our tongues 

instead. Why, God, the Tower of Babel, what was the threat about it?

There is too much past, and everyone knows it. And yet we 

have nothing to show for it, how are we not upset about it?

In the war of the noses—Oh look, there’s a Kashmiri 

nose! I like this one, it has a certain silhouette about it.

His name means follower, your emperor. In this realm, who is 

after who? A recipe for a disaster. Everything is perfect about it.

To a fennel stalk I said, Let there be light: and there was light. I’m 

still bound to a rock. You can even ask the Gods of Tibet about it.

“In a couple months, this will be gone.” “Although I don’t look 

at you the same way now, it's hard to be upset about it.”

In a dream, our seven years last longer. Only in a dream. Yet 

everything ends at him, there’s not much to dissect about it.

Shahid, of what shall I not sing, and sing? Voiceless, there 

are three of us now but we can only sing a duet about it.

(with a line by Maria Stepanova)

Ibra Zahoor is a Kashmiri poet based in New Delhi. She has a postgraduate degree in English from the University of Delhi, and curates The Kashmir Mailbox. 

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