a poem by Famida Basheer

a woman’s body is
only your imagination
More fertility resides in her mind
and that too you cannot view…
Black robes dust the cobbled street
as she picks her path
through trellis grilled lashes
of kohl in distress…
The walls are old and desperate
Towers wail a strange solos
But the gentle veil is practiced
in the muffling of its references
and all its cinquain prescriptions
Her affirmations are sleepless
restless within the hollows…
Soon her hennaed feet
will rise in convulsive rush
to sweep the weeps
and to breathe clean
while her mate seems wide awake
but is asleep in other places…