The name of a poet
everyone carries his address in his pocket
so that at least his body will reach home
—Agha Shahid Ali
there from once-claimed land buds a sudden country.
unsurprising, as every tale is the tale of your country.
a man tracing his lazy finger down a map, one hand
perforating a body—pulling from it a country.
which do you claim? where are you unseen
among the people of this or that country?
your father’s father watches from the walls, a man not
unlike any partridge falling from its sky of no country.
he fell silent and hateful, hastily married off to numb
the rift with the peculiar heat of a woman’s country.
& Moses parted—but only sea. this chasm light seeps
through, this sunless path to a discarnate country.
& your father’s mother? too young to tend a landless man
with no space behind bone for her, only his lost country.
blasphemous how one begets many. father, father, daughter.
& your mother? miraculous origin—the one safe country.
when they ask, Ghazal, if you anger, recite again: men
turn from the wind for the anthem of a new country.