The City of a Million
We share a bed of air, in a dark unlit room
And overnight our city has grown into a million souls
Wall less, and please place a gate at the entrance,
They count every head, and they are after us.
I have grown flowers in palm from the remaining
Seeds, of our love. From the scratch of dirt
On my last touch of the ground, and those flowers
Have started sprouting, distantly, not from my skin.
On the corner of my flowing scarf, I have tied
A piece of bread, and smell from the last hearth
We have made, where hangs your magnificent sword.
We had departed much earlier, but I would know,
These people have no idea, are not capable
Who had been stealing their mother's bread,
And now hearken to tell me the righteous path.
On every grain going into their mouths, causing
Nausea, of a sick mind, sick with retardation,
You could buy extra ration from them just, son,
Go on the back side, and you could be riding a boat,
Capsizing, dwindling, just beneath the earth.
But this is not as serious a turn of living,
The pulpit of the grand mullah, now turned a group
Leader, where is he? Is he on the spoils, stealing
The remaining humanity left over, preparing assault.
The city of a million, without earth, for thirty years
Your chicken brains have been cooking broths,
Stews, now they are themselves in. I cannot take
This idea. Would you stop charming snakes in backyard.
The snakes you thought would only bite the neighbors.
You harbor them in your head and heart, your lifeline
Otherwise you perish with your dream, not the bigger
One, but the one, that would let you see your smaller world.
The city of a million hangs like gardens of Babylon,
The newlywed are sharing the common shame, and the born
Would never forget the place of their birth. And will in these
Higher spaces, anything of a room, anything of a room possible?
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (The City of a Million by Sadiqullah Khan )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(1914 - 1955)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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