For Agha Ashraf Ali

You light a candle
Carp the darkness

With your usual flourish
Debone a carp

Add a pinch of salt
In your carpeted kitchen

Discourse on the next course
To scrape or not the fish head,

Gaadkalley: Honorific.
You offer a scrap of history

Bestowed once by the people
On the Big Crap who betrayed them

We seize the head
Before the diem carpe us

And raise our glass
To the disappeared carpenters

Of Kashmir
A parched paradise

By Rafiq Kathwari, whose first book of poems is forthcoming in April 2015 from Doire Press, Ireland. More work here.