Annual of Urdu Studies, v. 4, 1984 p. 83.

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Tanweer Anjum


Translated by C. M. Nairn


No, it wouldn't have mattered at all

if you'd stayed away, or

if my body's fragrance had drifted into jungles.

It wouldn't have mattered even if you'd held

a different body in your arms each day,

crowded each night with harems of new galaxies,

or made kindly seasons

trials of separation.

All that would've been better

than your seeking in my body's curves

the fragrance of some lost dream

through this intimate night.

You could've lived on away from me;

I could've become just a dream and tiptoed into your sleep some night.


I've tucked your memory on the shelf, between the books that are never opened. After some more years are past, the memory of memorable seasons will fade and termites will feast on the books.

Thought-birds pause on the other side of the door,

a streak of helplessness in their eyes,

then fly away one by one.

When small things spread their inescapable net

and small needs cling like chains,


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