Ishrat Afreen

(25 December 1956 / Karachi / Pakistan)

Ghazal (5) - Poem by Ishrat Afreen

The bitter taste of hunger on cold lips
Blood-spitting, cracked, dry, yellow lips.

Broken bangle, icy girl, rebellious age
Green body, stony eyes, and blue lips.

Bare courtyard, lone woman, long years
Blank eyes, damp veil, moist lips.

Blue poison from bitter words grazes
Peels off these peeling lips.

Begging for poison, refusing honey dew
Rebellious, stubborn, wild willful lips.

Derelict thoughts, bitter words
Lovely, gentle, red, juicy lips.

What will they say to all this talk:
‘Girls, they say, must seal their lips.'

[Translated by Rukhsana Ahmad]

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 9, 2012

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