The pomegranate seeds
scattered with our steps
were not from heaven.
– Dunya Mikhail. excerpt from Tablets II
The gold censer turned to fire, his body to aloe-wood.
Love’s nostrils grew fragrant by those fumes.
To those ashes by the heart’s fire,
Did those gathered set fire again.
Desolated by love, he grew peopled by flames.
Candle-like, by burning he became all bodied in light.
By that fire that love kindled by its breath,
Would a candle or moth have been charred.
His body, by that fire, burned like his soul.
To the water of the Ganges did they bear his bones.
The rakishly worn crown now turned a bubble.
In place of the Homā the fish finished the bones.
It was as if the king had turned a victorious sword,
That he got caught up in all that fire and water.
– Sa’d-Allah Masih Panipati. An account of Raja Jasrath’s death in separation from Ram
translated by Prashant Keshavmurthy
Silence of everyone I ever loved
This cloudy Friday evening
Spring but still cold
A smattering of new buds
The uneasy atmosphere
No chatter or pleasant surprise
The lusty rush of a weekend
With the beloved
Sprouting now out of
The cottony silence
With silky whips
Still hanging from their little chops
Who is it straining
To pop out
Of the hardwood
Rings of time
Into the cool air
Like there’s another cool world
On the other side of this one
Through to or maybe
We’re already there
Why we shake
– Ana Božičević. Who’s That