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For Tukaram

Cabbage in the fridge is rotting
I make do with shadows on the north wall

You keep on tipping the tip of your umbrella
On drenched roads after dark rain

I see you from all the windows
Moon plenty over the streetlights

The house at the edge of the forest
I leave and come and leave

The trees are cast in bitter-gold and shades of exact-silver
I gather cold winter grapes, hoping they will please you


For Sarmad

Headed back to Delhi on some quit this world shit,
Take two grams of coke, two joints, and enough holiness
To be killed. The sky has accepted the wings
Being offered for cheap at the strip mall where I meet
God over coffee, sometimes we eat cantaloupes and see the sun shine.
“The river waits for all of us - for all of us!” he preached
On the evening he was crying himself to sleep, when I told
Him not to disturb the furniture, or break the windows
To let the air in. Let them eat the leftover cake in the fridge
And ice cream too because when will we leave if not now?
Darkness here has seen us being ourselves. I have emptied myself
Of everything save you so who am I on this bed under this heavenly light
Watching TV watch me go to sleep.


For Bulleh


There is no returning.
Look at the toys here and the good people too.
Loving you is blindness.
Wide-awake I dance all day!

The mustard flowers on the side of the road
Put me in the mind of music and I sing
Because I am awake and there is no returning.


On the tip of the table is a silent moment
Stretched like gum. The road is still mine,
Still like the lover that waits across the water:
Some blankets some thoughts some strawberries
And one tree, spreading its arms like an old king, gently
On the day his warriors come home.  


Young Shakyamuni was born in Lahore and currently lives and writes in Las Vegas. His poetry has appeared in Mead. He occasionally uploads sample-based poetry to SoundCloud under the assumed name of wehshimunna.