Homecoming Cover Image

If I do not return, tell your heart

not to lament, come and find me instead

for I will be lying dead in the street

(where I had given you a rose-perfumed envelope

one brumal evening) and hold my head

in your arms to dislodge the bullet in my skull

like a sharp stone in the stem of our walnut tree;

and drop it into the modest waters of Jhelum

the day our country has its flag raised,

garmented on the foreheads of half-brides.

Memories do still bind us to one another

amid the ugly sounds of war, and

the songs and hymns of murdered grooms,

but I fear the barbwires between our love, will

tear apart my address from your letter

before headlines read the end of the war, and

your poem will drip in the metaphors of pain.

Fashion it into a kite then, sweetheart, fly

it high above my grave where I shall be nestled,

behind the snow-capped mountains, awaiting

your return, one last time. And my dear,

what better slap can be on the executioner

but our holy reunion, beneath God's throne?