On the television, I saw they had
dragged you to your death. I saw shards
of your teeth and bits of her hair. The grandeur
of your names did not pass me by.
They ask me, what do you know of this,
this bloody rag of faith I fly as a flag?
Oh but I know, and you shall glimpse
through my window, a shallow sea,
while you wade on, in the twilight
of idols you smashed. The night glows,
your feet sink, you see the last of the light.
How now, your books read, your hearth swept,
your nights slept, you scratch absent-mindedly, half-
listening in on my conversations.
You reek of sanctimonious gin.
We stand unimpressed against the wall,
waiting, to be shot by your religion. The bullets
pierce nothing but skin.
Your breath down my neck, the
glass of water half full, the nib of the pen still wet,
and the pages glistening, you say, not a word
can be changed,
but now you walk, half-limping,
dragging your leg to heaven.
And the children gather the last
of the souls from the brick kilns,
and the pages we saved are left mostly unread,
and, trampled underfoot,
your burning heart still roars.
Maham Khan is a student of English literature at a university in Islamabad. Her poems have been published in the Innisfree Poetry Journal and Cadaverine Magazine.