Wednesday, April 27, 2005

agha shahid ali

Leaving Your City

In the midnight bar

your breath collapsed on me.

I balanced on


the tip of your smile,


holding on to your words

as I climbed the dark steps.



your furniture neatly arranged for death,


you sharpened the knife

on the moon's surface,

polished it with lunatic silver.


You were kind,

reciting poetry in a drunk tongue.

I thought: At last!


Now I loiter in and out

of your memory,


speaking to you wherever I go.


I'm reduced to my poverties


and you to a restless dream

from another country


where the sea is the most expensive blue.




My finger, your phone number

as its tip, dials the night.


And your city follows me,

its lights dying in my eyes.

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