Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 4, 1984 p. 49.

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Iftikhar Arif


Translated by Naomi Lazard


In the way that it happens, on the Embankment,

a new face begins to flicker into flame

behind my eyes. It brings back another time,

a tender evening just like this one

on the shore of our own muddy river.

We were silent but together; only our eyes

spoke their untranslatable language.

But the way our hands touched

released my body into its entire spectrum of color.

Because of this the worlds became one?

the secret region of my soul and Einstein's universe

joined forces to make us immortal.

At that moment who could have dared to imagine

what seas the barque of our dreams would sail,

what shores would have received us

by the time the late afternoon sun

sent its rays through the lowest leaves?

Now the years have gone the way years go,

You are engrossed with your own life,

familiar details of decor and family,

while here, by the Thames,

another face moves into flames inside my eyes.


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