by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi
*handwritten Urdu text by the author, early 1980's*
Footprint, dim gleam,
let me look and rest my eyes there.
If I wring the leaf of a laugh
I moisten my heart.
Red, welling blood looks good to everyone--
But how can I look, when the knife is in my heart?
My breast in four pieces,
moon-flame in a corner,
A dream of the false dawn--
who should I tell it to?
If you touch
the signs of treasure will well up:
My breast is flower-like
with a hundred eyelashes' blood.
Pick me, or let me wither on the branch.
I'm the perfume that dies out if not sensed.
[naqsh-e paa dhundlii chamak dekh luu;N aa;Nkhe;N rakh duu;N]
translated by Frances W. Pritchett
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