The Country Without a Post Office

By Mehak Wani*, 4 August 2019, 9:18 PM

I hold The Country Without
a Post Office in my arms and look
at the photograph of my forgotten
poet. I don’t shed tears but pearls
from my palms that build a
desolation. The phone rings.
I think he’ll return but
what if he doesn’t?
My arm is heavy, I can’t hold
the pen. It seems like war is
stuck in my throat.
I long to tear it out of it.
the ostensible purpose of this
poem is to prove my body has
given up but my heart hasn’t.
But, here is the
real reason— I am giving this war
a new direction. History will repeat
our longings and grief within papers.
The subtle sense of grief has kissed
our hands and doesn’t want to drift
apart. This abandoned land of mine,
is gradually being ghettoised.
When men in boots stare at us,
we don’t allow our tears to fall.
we stare back until they give up.
During the day, we trace every death.
During the night, we silently sob
over them. All eyes decipher
freedom for life. If God wills,
if we meet, somewhere,
between the bridges and
bombardments, I’ll tell you
why I didn’t
write to you.

*wrote Mehak, a dear friend and young Kashmiri poet, on the eve of projection of the Presidential Order on Article 370 of the Constitution of India, expressing her uneasiness to her favorite poet Agha Shahid Ali.

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