Agha Shahid Ali

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

Shaving



In the mirror, the hand hacks at my skin
It belongs to the child who used his father's
blades for sharpening pencils, playing murder.

Full of cuts, I have the blood-effacing
instruments: water, water, and survival
tricks : I'm as clean

as glass, my brown face glistens
with oil, turns a fine olive green.
There's no return

to the sanctuary
of ripped paper-boat-journeys

This is morning, I must
scrub myself. A college lecturer, I smell of talcum
Old Spice and unwritten poems.

The mirror smiles back like a forgotten student:

The hairs die like ants in the basin.

My reflection gathers the night's dust,
I wipe it with the morning towels.

The girls drape their muslin shawls,
their necks turn on Isadora's wheels:

In the classroom I shuffle like unrhymed poetry

The blade, wet with Essenin's wrist,
waits with the unwritten poem.

Submitted: Saturday, June 16, 2012

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Shaving by Agha Shahid Ali )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]