To a half disappearance & If wishes were horses by Zabirah Fazili

Back home
we laughed merry
laughs, tears streaming down
our eyes, a defiant smile on the face
offsets familiar aches felt by us.
we lost
him in our strength and frailty

yet we hugged
and held each other
back home to shelve our shrieks
we smiled
at our helplessness.

we lost
him in our days and nights

eid came
and our lives too came
under the knife; happiness bled
sloganeering souls raised barricades
of pain, murmured prayers for the butcher.

we lost him in our joys and sorrows

will it be
one day all the smiles
return true tears trickle in joy
alone and he returns safe and sound.

we shall have him
one-day back home laughing
and singing as an extinct bird flapping
his wings in kani embroidered skies

we shall have him
back in our strength and frailty
in our halved days and nights,
petitioned joys and sorrows
in our nothings and everything

we shall have

If wishes were horses, we would ride

what if
everytime his eyes wanted flesh spilled
but his gun shot flowers instead
and life sang to death’s defeat

what if
everytime he spat hurt to my face
but his tongue forced out words
that soothed my nerves

what if
everytime it rained to announce a murder
but the droplets trickled the news
that cherished a new life instead

what if
everytime words play to kill layla and yusuf
but a poem lets them breathe
victory one day
what if…

Bio: Zabirah studies English at the University of Kashmir. Her poetry is shaped by personal and collective trauma inflicted by losing family and friends in conflict.

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