Fifteen decibels (in memory of my beloved cousin Adnan)
time is gone. and time returns. you,
with your telescopic glasses,
the most gentlest Karachi boy
with soft words and I
wondered at your fragility
in this city of blood and motorbikes
a division of time– mandarin pieces
kept in your clean warm hands
and a shalwar made out of Kashmiri snow
melting with it over time,
your voice is fifteen decibels
I wanted to protect you with my fierceness
I became a giantess
and you the meaning of gentle
I think of whispering to calm the nerves
you the conduit
10819.62 km away from me
might as well be the distance from
here to Mars
but just as well for one moment
it is the distance from fingertip to pressure point on the keyboard
heart to brain
brain to fingers
but how are you dead?
I have no proof!
give me a word, a glance.
Did I know in the fragility of your voice
when I was a girl without your words,
the distance and the time that was metered out?
No…I don’t know a thing
I am just caught up in the greenery
in the art and the music,
listening for love in the morning.