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Ghazal of Separation: a poem

Updated: Jan 29, 2019

by Sachal Khan


My body was born with the memories of yours, which I may never learn.

No truth can ever be fully told, no secret truly uttered, even to the stars.

No body can retain everything. Our memories of each other

pass like sand between our hands, still pictures, film grain dotted like stars,

jigsaw pieces sticking together. What was that cassette you used to play?

A cheesy love song. Two Pakistani black and white film stars.

“Aa na meri jaan, meri jaan, Sunday ke Sunday.” On the highway everything

seemed so big, save for my tiny fingers, pointed like astronauts at the stars.

I in one hemisphere, you in the other. The age of airplanes tore our footprints

from the map, left us in empty space, the domain of the stars.

Like the land, our bodies bear every stretch and tear since our partition.

Like the land, we cut apart our souls across borders, atoms of the same star.

From this window seat, borders seem like jigsaw pieces. Every second a mile

closer to you, fingers on the corner piece, our map of the stars.

Sachal is a Pakistani poet based in the UK

Artwork by Megan Daly


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