Tuesday Poem

Last Signature
—a Ghazal for Agha Shahid Ali

Our wounds are labeled forgettable, Shahid
Our life before death is imperceptible, Shahid

Billboards proclaim, Kashmir is Paradise
God has a reason to be chimerical, Shahid

Memory threads tied to wooden roses at Khankah
Even simple prayers are incomprehensible, Shahid

At Naseem Bagh, your presence was ephemeral
Now, your absence is a spectacle, Shahid

Our laments are lost, our yearnings are empty
Grief— the source of all that is poetical, Shahid.

Fear has abandoned us; Hope has embraced us
Yours are the best words in our arsenal, Shahid

Your last illegible scrawl, an emblem of your name
The Beloved Witness, grievable, indelible, Shahid

by Ather Zia
from Kashmir Walla