• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 06


“God, limit these punishments, there’s still Judgment Day—
             I’m a mere sinner, I’m no infidel tonight.”
                            ― Agha Shahid Ali

For Naureen Bhat

When the grounds were buried, nobody
walked the streets anymore; even the dead

prayed alone, once: “God, it wasn’t us!
It was never us!” When they filled the trucks

with them, even the dead cried alone, for
once: “There is no snow that could save us

anyway.” In the empty streets, no hands
waved: “Our god is a blind one this time.

He’s let not one thing remain of us.” They
have now made a shrine of graveyards, and

for once, no god resides there anymore.

When a hundred years ago, we were dead
already, our bodies, breaking, wrapped, in

plastic, in two cold hands; when the nights
fell, snowflakes cottoning up the ground,

nothing yet was cold anymore. In the nights
now, we listen for silence; when at dawn,

the sun comes up, no god resides here – any-
where – anymore.