Agha Shahid Ali

(4 February 1949 – 8 December 2001 / New Delhi / India)

K. L. Saigal


Nostalgic for Baba's youth,
I make you return
his wasted generation:

I know you felt
it all: the ruined
boys echoed

through you,
switched their sorrow
on the radio:

the needle turned
to your legend.
you always came

with notes of madness,
the wireless
sucked your

drunkenness:
you quietly died,
singing

them to a sleep
of Time
Counting the ruins

of decades,
the boys were left,
caressed

with the air's
delirium.
Now two generations

late,
you retreat with my sanity,
Death stuck in the throat!

Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2012

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