The silent observations wait for you by the edge of the dirty river
Where I had watched you sail away on a paperboat in the middle of the storm.
It rained bitterly that night, and the windows crashed upon the grills till glasses powdered onto the pavement.
Angry lashes from the sky licked your skin as you lay in the gutter
Fighting with every last ounce of your flagging strength
The heavy stones of aesthetics waiting to cement you in.
They took you away, for you had failed to express your senses without
Slipping into lines of Faiz,
I found you with a dunce cap on your head,
Unravelling threads for all to see, a circus of misanthropy.
I wonder if you seek pity, for the world around you is translucent with sympathy;
Or do you revel in their discomfort as they laugh
At the jokes you crack, weeping blood from both eyes.
Everyone looks away.
They took another man in today,
Subversion, a loud prayer and the fine line between inheritance and language,
And embrace of identities.
I see the same dark demons of compulsive hatred twisting in your skull,
The marks of oppression on your skin like spider webs
As old as the first indian men who had seen from the ramparts of their red kingdoms,
White men in heavy ships belching black smoke.
I hear your voice in the middle of the night,
A keening heard in strange Armenian melodies
All that we consider exotic, (those kind words for tribals)
Watch the white men dance to the Rumba beats,
Shake their borrowed beads around a welcoming fire
Take Snapchat stories of culture and catalogue with wide eyes great sacrifices on evening river waters.
Oh but the language of my masters I have come to love,
To understand their spirit in their syllables,
The broken studied metre of greatness and poetry.
The language of my masters is my destiny,
They are my shackles, my oppression and my freedom.
In their language I will weave the same heart ache and sweetness,
That is my birth, urdu, Sanskrit, Arabic, the origins of a language based
Not on coldness, but an infinite expanse of unmetaphorised words
In my language there are no similies
Dusk is not burning like fire,
Our dusks are made of fire
Spirits are iron.
But oh the language of my masters
I have come to love,
And here is only one darkness,
I have been asked to mould
By citing experiences of masters who had come before me.
My master holds my words ransom, every ekphrasis is essentially another borrowed experience from his repetoire
Till I have acquired a debt heavy enough
To mortgage my life
My master’s language is my slavery,
It is what I worship,and what connects me
What uproots me from my heritage
Except the dragged accent I carry with me
Shadows on my dusky skin
A slight difference in identity.