We Stopped There Once

We Stopped There Once

M. Shahid Alam Raritan Fall 2015

ستائش گر ہے زاہد اس قدر جس باغ رضوان کا
وہ اک گلدستہ ہے ہم بیخودوں کے طاق نسیاں کا

Unctuously, the preachers hype paradise.
We stopped there once but did not stay.

Her angry lashes draw blood. In pity,
Afterwards, she strings them into beads.

She instantly ignites the arcade of mirrors.
The sun lights up fields of morning dew.

Inside us beats an engine of decay. A fire
In his blood will burn the farmer’s field.

I think she sleeps in a lover’s arms tonight.
In dreams, why does she smile so coyly?

This can’t be easy. Many hearts will break
When the veils lift from her grieving eyes.

Ghalib, I have longings of extinction: this
Is the Way that mends the tattered universe.


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