On partly cloudy days
This city hangs at the precipice of reality
Crushed under the weight of its reputation.
At 10:30 pm, five dogs wait under the streetlight
For the lovers to come home
Faithful of familiarity that becomes a requiem.
When a bullet pierces through a language
Death becomes historical deceit, like
Fireflies lingering on a minefield. A pretense.
A heart unceremoniously traded for a kill
Is exhibited like public indecencies
Until a night explodes into static.
To pick the summer side of this city
Hidden under mind's fettered daylight fantasies
You have to put your head through the furnace called history.
Some day, the rain will wash clean
The gasoline water of Gomti, and
Dreams will be put on sale in the old markets.
While my mother peels mangoes inside
I look through the slit of my curtain -
Whites and greens pressed against the cobalt road.
I ask: how many more poems will it take to find the right words to call home home?
Nuzhat Khan is currently pursuing her master's in Convergent Journalism from AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia. She is from Lucknow.