The purple midnight of Jhelum
crawls over the rainshed memory
I have of you – drenched,
tipsy with pubescent desire,
as if you will light up the mosque in
which we played cards
with your skill at the game- those nerved hands-
and the soul of that fluttering heart,
Outside, it poured
and I cajoled you on
with my nascent dialect
that was too outlandish to
your upper middle class upbringing.
A jackal whimpered in the distance,
somewhere where jackals reside.
The pack moved closer in inches
towards the story, so that the epic
(our love story)
became an unmoored myth
of belligerent animals
that slime out of nocturnal spaces,
which perturbed your
making me an incongruity to your prestige,
your high end, red bricked house,
heaving its mighty benevolence
in the midst of an anthill, my residence.
Your story had to be written with the
nib of a peacock feather,
dipped in the splash of white gold,
imbuing the stately shades
you have in your heroic blood,
when you so generously grant me
a small touch
so i may burn,
burn at both ends.
i have no where to go,
but to hide in the shadows
generates on the periphery
of your vision.
My genesis lies in
the idea of the possibility
that i may exist,
that i may very well be born
under the weight of
your rib cage.
who has brought me to life.
Between us, there is a galaxy
and of a singular realization
that you are the guardian of my imagination,
and i am the silhouette of your past.
All this time,
in looking at you and the passing nights,
I only had a longing– a wild cry–
inherited and passed down the line of
old city’s song writers who feed on
the wisdom and chirping of migratorial birds;
right here from my throat
to my stomach is
but a cry, –a wild cry–
a song bird’s devotion,
nothing to quell your taste in music and noble art.
You have spent days
unlearning the dignified aesthetics
of your social class
when you play Salman Ahmed
on a small guitar,
that tune which had no song attached to her,
no burden attached.
It is a free tune and
we are free to touch each other,
as we hold each other’s hands,
wanting to kiss the august sky
in the imagined street named after
you and me.
Somewhere in the world,
There is a street named
after our unrequited love.
Find me that, and
find me your love.
Sana Janjua is a poet and a playwright who is also the President of Surrey Muse, an interdisciplinary art and literature presentation/discussion group.