Saturday Poem

Worthy of a Ghazal

…—for Tammara Claire

Had the heart been a bird it would have flown
to your courtyard carefully wrapping a ghazal
in a paper drenched in some Arabian aromas
landing on the bricked cope of a rural home
dropping words on your head making you
look for me but my absence is meager in this
world where love is not a panegyric rather
a dirge of nations, of mobs, of oligarchies
latching to thrones but you need not worry
feeding white ducks removing that curl from
your sweating forehead squeezing clothes on
a creaky bucket, let me give you a hand making
another ghazal on your hennaed feet, last night
you smiled through patterns embroiling your
wheatish skin on which I sit like a long memory
but earth-bound I review my majestic plans of
wooing you out of a structure surrounded by
marsh and yelping night-dogs but in my maqta
you appear free and shying, deserving conclusion.

by Rizwan Akhtar

*Maqta is the last couplet in ghazal in which the poet uses his name