(After Agha Shahid Ali)

Earth’s been around the Sun. Kashmir, where it was, in darkness
While tyrants spin untruths, enact laws in darkness

Twin apples, her eyes, blinded in paradise
Whose bite marks are these? Flesh knows their jaws in darkness

O, cowardly assassins, snuffing out the lights!
Even Jesus did not bear his cross in darkness

You may ambush and kill me, bury all evidence
But a rebel seed plies its cause in darkness

Mothers of the disappeared have cursed your sleep
The last of your conscience gnaws in darkness

You are welcome to your skyscrapers, their g/litter
Naz is anomalous fire, she thaws in darkness

First published in Ideas & Futures.



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Sophia Naz Written by:

Sophia Naz is a bilingual poet, essayist, author, editor and translator. She has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize; in 2016 for creative nonfiction and in 2018 for poetry. Her work features in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Poetry International Rotterdam, The Adirondack Review, The Wire, Chicago Quarterly Review, Blaze Vox, Scroll, The Daily O, Cafe Dissensus, Guftugu, Pratik, Gallerie International, Coldnoon, VAYAVYA, The Bangalore Review, Madras Courier, etc Her poetry collections are Peripheries (2015), Pointillism (2017) and Date Palms (2017). Shehnaz, a biography of her mother published from Penguin Random House in 2019. Her site is

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