my father worries that i am getting too political:
paled selpulchre bent back, stubble glinting moonlight
off a sharply set wedding band. in 2000, a
billion pallbearer’s dreams flock like
moths as we bleed blue. nana switches on
the television, antennae fiddling and a snowstorm
on its steady approach because She will wrinkle
her nose and powder up every frosted mirrorball
and say this is a muslim area. here, someone
leaves a child behind, here she is defiled in this city’s
growing sun-rotting, storm-kissed pavements. here,
a musalman will lay buried and some unsheathed devotee,
aluminium foil; false hegemony unto warmth will
step over each corpse and say it like it is.
red means freedom, and english syllables wire-cross
a geographer’s moon glass’d into state lines.
but you say
building friend’s cook sprinkles saffron, and says
be brave, be kind, be good
then steals words from a coronet atop nilgiri’s peak:
now silenced, every babbling brook’s timbre
jarred into fractal, strapped // sitar strings.
gulzar’s footsteps: an inch closer
to a flying pilcrow’s freedom, bisects
an ichor-soaked land of no man.
and yes, i bet you were good and kind and equal when you shoved a little god’s girl down near the water cooler.
break cowering cattle into a million flaking pieces, and stuff
it into a bottle-gourd pumping, brown kidney.
biology teaches me that good good girls
bask good good hymen and cover up, choke
collarboned sequins. and a double
chromosome here is a wide-eyed invitation there- glossy
card paper wrapped up in a child’s bosom.
mrs says that word is soaped up flamboyant, blasphemes steal
words. (i think they are mine, tinted violet. )
and you say, shiva was blue not stained dark. kneel a limb
on a sophomore’s slumbering lawn, but none for your own kind.
(these pavements will rise, rise in rebellion.
every foot out of line.)
and everyday you will shriek liberalism as history
teaches me merit. everyday some convent schoolgirl
will rip a nunnery’s shroud
to shreds and build a house, a bridge of cards, a home,
a card paper/ breaking / out of a red-eyed
ribbon. oil-glazed hair like honeysuckle;
hair that braids blond realism. rapunzel was a real rebel then,
& this country breeds rebels then, doesn’t she?
no: rebels are picked up, all chaff and falling glory,
see it in your cousin’s pupil- a battle of banded cryogenics.
because pretty, pretty girls are far to come and good, good women
are the ones with a high-top pyramid checked blue.
[insolent little children, insolent big children.]
click metal on coarse metal, ally your farces in the third moon.
light an altar candle to the past, here have some for
a vigil, and you say ہم دیکھیں گے
the women of your country