Ranjit Hoskote

(29 March 1969 - / Mumbai / India)

Nazm - Poem by Ranjit Hoskote

Our lives are voices in two heads.
The rest is background music.

§

In this city of high walls, the scores of abandoned music
flutter in the streets and my torn-out Aztec heart
comes to rest, a blind girl's paperweight.

§

Blindfold palmist, you've stitched our hands together,
completing accounts that the waking mind abandoned
to the faultless needlework of dream.

§

We lie embroidered on the mimosa.
I need no gauge of motives to tell me
why it has rained.

§

Clouds darken the windows, the lamps are lit.
You carry the incense from room to room.
I flare briefly, then go out,
a lamp you lit and forgot to trim.

§

Raw colours grate against the mind's palette.
The mirror promises only the dark.
The eyes that have glowed would rest on the mirror,
smoky lamps afloat on a clouded stream.

§

Forget the star maps of the Old Kingdom.
Dress yourself in night.
Trust me:
our hands can see in the dark.

[for Nancy]


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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 26, 2012



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