Massacred Town

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There is a black hole

where the last memory of a lover resides,

you call, unaware, that they’ve died 40 days back,

The speakers ring with subtle hope, inna ma al usri yusra*,

the evening prayer fades into torture cries

ringing from the same speakers.

There is a gaping hole

where images of twisted young bodies

are yellow under incandescent bulbs,

where blood trickles

from perforated backs and unseeing eyes.

~ Saadia,

On the day Shahid left us to embellish this massacre with our words

 

*Arabic: Verily with pain comes ease.

4 August 2019

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Frantic phone calls spiderweb across families

college sessions terminate 2 days after they start

lights for a wedding lie still, unlit,

in anticipation, in unclarity

an indefinite curfew imposed

the night before an orphan was to be married.

 

Kashmir lies still,

veins taut in alarm,

too much stillness

for a possibility of war.

~ Saadia

 

Wrote this on the 4th of August when it was still unclear what was going to happen, there were rumors of war and Kashmir was gripped with a fear that was impossible to swallow. 65+ days of communication blockade and 90+ days of internet shutdown later, here we are, still counting the days.