I held the language in a fountain,
bathed the sparrows in the foam of Urdu,
a language laced with religion,
not with Raat Rani* or Sitaphal* sweetness.
Why did they bring God here?
Is he allowed in the garden of languages?
Will I know my lovers in Urdu?
Is Urdu the end of my independence?
as liberating as English?
(why did I ask this)
Backyards burst during aurora,
no one could make my hands write the names of God in Urdu.
I want to write in Urdu
the recipe for kohl
anything but God
anything but the quiescent shackles that smash your heart.
Raat Rani: Night-blooming jasmine
Sitaphal: Custard apple fruit