Story of A Silence by Agha Shahid Ali
Story of A Silence by Agha Shahid Ali stories
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     While her husband thumbed through Plato
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Story of A Silence by Agha Shahid Ali

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     While her husband

thumbed through Plato

the dialogues

 

     like a pension,

in whispers, his inheritance lost,

his house

 

     taken away

my grandmother worked hard, harder

than a man

 

     to earn

her salary from the government and

deserve

 

     her heirloom

of prayer from God. While he slept

she leafed

 

     through

his dreams: she wasn't in any

of them

 

     and he

was just lying on the river's warm

glass, thousands

 

     of him

moving under him. He was nothing

when he woke,

 

     only his own

duplicates in his arms. Years later

she went

 

     into the night

in one hand the Koran, in the other

a minaret

 

     of fire. She

found him sleeping, his torn Plato, his

pillow, the fire's

 

     light a cold

quilt on him. She held him as only

a shadow must

 

     be held. But

then the darkness cracked, and

he was gone.

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