by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

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

If only the wound of desire had killed me too,
She would not have died this way, alone.

The wind of the joy of tear-wetness says,
Had you lived longer, you would have been flame-filled.

The heart-city would be a ruin, still,
If only she had passed bare-headed through.

That one star, glowing on my lips--
If only it had sunk into my veins.

The cup of poison was my final arrow.
Who knows, perhaps it too was shot in vain.

Distance in space is less than nearness in time,
If only that moment had somehow dissolved in me.

[miraa bhii za;xm :talab kaam kar gayaa hotaa]
translated by Frances W. Pritchett

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