By Ather Zia
Our wounds are labeled forgettable, Shahid
Our life before death is imperceptible, Shahid
Billboards proclaim, Kashmir: A Paradise
God has a reason to be chimerical, Shahid
Memory threads tied to wooden roses at Khankah
Even simple prayers are incomprehensible, Shahid
At Naseem Bagh, your presence was ephemeral
Now, your absence is a spectacle, Shahid
Our laments are lost, our yearnings are empty
Grief— the source of all that is poetical, Shahid.
Fear has abandoned us; Hope has embraced us
Yours are the best words in our arsenal, Shahid
Your last illegible scrawl, an emblem of your name
The Beloved Witness, indelible, lovable, Shahid
Khankah: Sufi shrine in Srinagar, Kashmir’s summer capital.
Naseem Bagh: a garden on the banks of Naseem Lake, where Kashmir University is located.