Friday, 24th of February 2017.
I would etch these words somewhere
Frame them between two sheets
of glass on a black wall
Wear them on an armband and stand
in the middle of Jinnah Avenue
With an empty placard
So that when they would ask,
"What are you protesting?"
I would finally know what to say.
Your death was not a surprise.
Yet the date somehow shocks me with its solidity
(Friday. February 2017. 24th.)
its weight too hard to bear, unwieldy
as this universe of silence between my ribs -
a great stillness
that won't be revived.
February. February. Twenty plus four.
I roll the date in my mouth like a mysterious chestnut
I search for meaning in the permanent stamp of these numbers
denoting permanent fact
the absolute it-will-never-ever-happen-again of your voice
you, Arachne, with your cobweb lungs
your glass-sharded dancing feet
(And your midnight phone calls)
you, who laughed and spun
a tapestry out of nothing, (how did you
decide to call it a day at something so respectable as teatime?)
I am telling you now that the weight of this silk is too hard to bear
And that a tapestry without its weaver
is nothing more
than a ragged flag flapping on the breeze
its gossamer fingers crawling invisible over your face
You keep trying to brush it away,
but the feeling just won't go.
|Nigar Ahmad (16th February 1945 - 24th February 2017)|