1 min read

What's In a Name 

Ustad Bismillah 

Khan in a 1989 documentary sings 

in the only Muharram performance 

he gives, standing, a lament so 


one cannot forget his face or the name 

that spills 

like grief 

like tears 

And one is better for it 


I came across it in a marsiya by Mirza Dabeer 

Writing in a language that is crystals on velvet 

Sugar crystals piercing sweet 

A name, a shard 

that pierces centuries: Bibi Z 


her namesake 

A name that now calls out to me 

wherever I see it

Frank O’Hara and All That 

It rained early this morning 

my aunt said first thing 

At the breakfast table 

like a broken record 

most mornings out of habit or 

whenever silence calls to be 

filled, we have a conversation 

about the heat and the rain 

and the humidity. I read 

Frank O’Hara on the balcony 

accompanied as if by a chamber 

orchestra of: two books, one 

phone, one steel tumbler and a 

olive-green glass bottle 

of water. O’Hara does 

lend himself readily

to a tweet, but this morning 

I haven’t yet tweeted. Generally, 

it has something to do 

with love but out of context 

Presently, I am resisting 

saying deep things 

Well, except 


Carol D’Souza loves chai and lives in Chennai.

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