by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

*handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980's*

Into the shy, scented ear of the night
she whispered:  He who is far away
yet bright before me like my heart
who throbs like a tiny thorn
in the soles of my feet, in the rosy cheeks
of the palms of my hands
He who is elusive rain on my body's pasture
whose eyes' murderous desire
gives me no rest, keeps me eager
like one hoping for the sight
of an invisible flower:  he
arrives tonight.

But he didn't come that night either
How could his broken wrists support
all those dreams, all those promises
all those vows to meet again?
How could his glazing eyes retain
her bright body's image
her lips shimmering with hot
sultry blood?

The dark night saw
nothing.  Nor did it want to hear.
Its delicate ears and dark eyes
hear and see no evil.

[andherii shab ke sharmiile mu((at:t:ar kaan me;N us ne kahaa]
translated by the author

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