Walls


dusk

In that year
they left the old house
taking the odour of clothes
and souls.

We replaced the trees and crows,
and planted fresh birth sounds
and sleep sounds.
We changed nameplates.
We changed the street.

Even now when the pot boils
on the old stove
making tinny sounds,
it is the noise of the morning women
restless, and the men demanding bread.

There is cement on sandstone,
concrete on the ground
where the sleeping desert
once swam.

But from the cracks in the wall
the house speaks.
There is breath
coming from the black loam
around the rose bush.

The ants speak.
The wind that slaps the west wall
speaks.

I can smell the master’s dream
in his old white vest,
soiled and tattered,
holding the bricks of the wall.

Shadows of bones
walk in the night.
The house bares its soul
with each monsoon drop
on the windowsill.

 

* MOEEN FARUQI*

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