She is a woman impure
imprisoned by her flowing blood
in a cycle of months and years.
Consumed by her fiery lust,
Sire! What use is this black chadur to me?
A thousand mercies, why do you reward me with this?
Come let us create a new lexicon
Wherein is inserted before each word
Its meaning that we do not like
And let us swallow like bitter potion
How long will your love hold for me?
As long as my womb sheds
Its child-bearing blood?
(When a poet dies in Pakistan, friends often hold a condolence
meeting to pass a resolution affirming that the poet was
a Godfearing patriot mistakenly persecuted by the authorities.)
The soft fragrance of my jasmine
Floats on the breeze
Plays with the hand of the wind,
Is setting off in search of you.
What shall I do, Sire, with this black veil?
Why do you bestow on me this great favour?
I am not in mourning that I should wear it
To show the world my grief. Nor am I sick
How beautiful is this land!
Beautiful and long-suffering.
A shawl of buckwheat green
Flutters in the wake
After love the first time,
Our naked bodies and minds
A hall of mirrors,
Wholly unarmed, utterly fragile,