May the Army be Defeated

Photo: Omair Bhat

This poem was written in October, 2016 in response to what was happening in Kashmir at that time; when Kashmir flooded in abundance of blood, bullets and stones. 

At every primal stroke of midnight, the heart turns paper,

and behind every chord flutters a spasm of blue.

Someone writes: Autumn teaches us to let things go. I don’t
know what Winter does. A good prison life, maybe?
The inability to cross borders, and comfort?

Someone else writes: What’s keeping you alive these days?

Sometimes you turn me into the enemy – at mid-days or
after midnights – and sometimes I collect away
all your silences. Symbols have lost meaning between us.

A war zone is a war zone, after all;
never a home that runs on loss.

I’ve learnt that your house hides well behind the woods.
Behind mine, a gulmohar would stand strong
if not for the world.

We’ve been betrayed as guerrilla poets – how well
we made invisible an entire birth, and yet now so
exposed merely at a moment’s glance?

I cannot write of illegal detention camps, Federico.
Hearts burst at borders, and they won’t let me pass.

I have come, unannounced, to the shores of your lies
that are closer to the truth than all of mine.
These fingers, so twisted – incomplete - are dust ---

May the butterflies come in and make us whole.
May we die in Winter at last.

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