Despite all our farewells,

we kept coming back like refugees,

Shahid, in waves,

seeking communes

of elliptical love,

and maybe now, if I see

the Jhelum  —

I know not if rivers in your country

tremble at blue skies —

I’ll understand

You don’t,

The elliptical love of refugees

Coming back to love.


Our house is the broken back of history,

You tell me

As I try and write

Your name, Ali

Under fields

Of yemberzals, buried:

Graves without names

Are born every day,

Your country.  I cross oceans,

Fail to build homes

Out of these names,

And Time dissipates.

Real time is old, Shahid,

a bomb, like your heart

slicing off the skin

of this un — homely arm.


As dark as August now,

                          And we’re trespassing borders

Of control for love,

                        Wait here, till she comes,

Your woman,

                        who knows me by heart:

You may leave, as it rains —

It’s a dream, a river

All dried up

Like this dawn —

One year

Into this century,

You slipped away, letters

Not posted, still stuck

at the barbed wires.

Out of the windows

They carried, she blew

One two three

Notes, my woman

Into her flute, as dark as August —

No one heard the alarm, Shahid,

The rain, not even our lovers – in – arms.


Sahana Mukherjee

Sahana Mukherjee

Sahana Mukherjee is an undergraduate student at Jadavpur University. Her works have previously been published in Muse India, Café Dissensus, Economic and Political Weekly, Bangalore Review, etc.