Partition Ghazal
                        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. 


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