Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cover Your Eyes

It wasn't for the lack of trying.
It was for the stillness in the night
when you called me your life.

But now, he sits there, oblivious,
my life,
and I wonder at your persistence,
as I wondered at the concept of evil—
some things even God falls for.

It is in this insistence of the everyday
that I most indulge your absence,
I let it fill me, like a rag soaks kerosene
right before it catches fire.

I still chew the ragged edges of my fingernails
hoping that in the dead skin
I can taste your insides again.

I have confiscated our words,
set them to oblivion,
that generations to come
would fall in their sweet trap.

I invented love in you.
I ignited you like an Indian widow,
bright flame dancing on supple skin.
And only when your float,
far adrift down the river,
burst the spleen of the night in color,
did I hear the wailing.
And it wasn’t yours;
one can hardly recognize
their voice in tatters.

Still scour those edges,
the banks I’ll never be.
I have tried to bury your eyes in the mud.
But they look up, beyond me,
as evil and docile as the day I buried them,
luring others with their stare.

Yes, I have learnt to forgive
ever since I saw my smile in the waters,
innocent and twisted,
and still covering your eyes.

3 comments:

tamie said...

ashraf, you speak truths of my own life. in your particularity there is a graceful generality that embraces my particularity. i bow in gratitude.

arch.memory said...

Tamie, you oblige me with your generous words... I understand what you mean; that is the magic of poetry after all, isn't it? I thank you...

Russell Ragsdale said...

Ashraf, there are some really brilliant images that just leap out of this poem and startle me. You have crafted some phrases that have simply left me in awe. This is a fantastic poem.