Making Lists


The best way to put

things in order is

to make a list.

The result of this

efficiency is that everything

is named, and given

an allotted place.


But I find, when I begin,

there are too many things,

starting from black holes

all the way to safety pins.


And of course the whole

of history is still there.

Just the fact that it has

already happened doesn’t mean

it has gone elsewhere.

It is sitting hunched

on people’s backs,

wedged in corners

and in cracks,

and has to be accounted for.

The future too.


But I must admit

the bigger issues interest

me less and less.


My list, as I move down in,

becomes domestic,

a litany of laundry

and of groceries.

These are the things

that preoccupy me.


The woman’s blouse is torn.

It is held together

with a safety pin.



*imtiaz dharker


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