In a deserted street
In Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, In the next incarnation.
A tee shirt , with the legend
“The lovers in this incarnation
Belonged to two populations
That were at war in the last one”
I realized that day
That your gaze
Was a bullet
Of hatred and vengeance
Left over from unabated fury
Even after firing six times that day
And you told me
That my words
The satisfaction of chopping repeatedly,
A body long dead
When you saw popcorn on the wayside,
Why did you offer to get it?
Why did you coo, ‘what’s wrong, dear’ when I sighed?
I am clueless!
How we separated
The first time it was because the flame flared up
When lighting a taper
Once it was because the phone rang while kissing.
There was some stain on my shirt when we met in a dream
For not asking
For calling, not calling,
For laughing, for whimpering,
For crying, for eating, for not eating,
For sending, for not wishing to send,
For going to the toilet
Without asking permission
For saying a prayer for mother and children
Must have died together on that day.
The anxiety was not
About who would look after you
If I died first,
But who all will look at you!
Must have killed
If not that, God would have interfered
Whatever the rock on which it is built,
God would upset it with an earthquake if nothing else.
God and His strange ways!
In the Afghan capital city of Kabul,
It is the same us who killed with love in this fashion
When you exclaimed
“How lovely this city is”,
I lighted another cigarette
This time, another tee shirt
With the legend “I am not even born”
The two lines you told me
in the last incarnation,
Four days before Christmas,
A Thursday evening,
I laughed without telling you that.
You gave me a kiss.
Translation Anitha Varma