Mushtaque Barq


there’s a strike in Srinagar,
paramilitary beating the iron,
soft flesh of human hearts,
using their special powers to kill.

Again, clouds discover the sun
and we are forced indoors,
gates of isolation bolted,
windows of pain flung open.

Again, the breeze brings breaking news—
a baby blinded in Baramullah. Again,
they laugh at our stars
pinned on their shoulders

as emblems of bravery celebrating
our funerals, their bottles drained
of the wine of our blood
hang by their necks,

again chiming above
the gated mud walls
of abandoned homes
on the wrong side of history.

Mushtaque Barq is a writer and teaches English at Green Valley Educational Institute in Srinagar.

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