On the Abrogation of Section 370 with Ghassan Kanafani
August 2019, Jammu- Kashmir
Back home I dispossess the snowy hills
like echelons of funeral sheets
until I cannot decipher
where paper goes after it is burned.
Earlier, my body became a Himalayan iris
its stalked navel hair in the shape of blackish jinx.
Why do they always promise mystic for misfortune?
Here too sanity loses its firma. Blood
gushes more than axed maple; the cavernous
debris of sons missing from embonpoint.
Soon, green eyed men rise up like wild oak
mirroring the dowry cast towards Jhelum.
It only feels numb when you tend
an ice lingam gloomier than shepherd bone.
Today my name is the child’s tongue
stuck to his window. I blow the word: fear
and dream of console that won’t come.
For dinner we pass down suckled hope
with astringence, salt the shamed virgin girls
watching every paraffin lamp blink
into a monarch butterfly.
Rushda Rafeek is currently based in Sri Lanka. Among the works published are nominations for the Pushcart Prize, finalist of the Wasafiri New Writing Prize (2017) and winner of the Annual Nazim Hikmet Poetry Contest (2018).