Apples of Kashmir

Calm down, Kashmir, sit for a while
by the Dal tucked aside
like a cold meal by a captive;

look at us, we the forbidden fruits, scored
with ash, grime and gore,
sweet anyways, if not alluring;
come, pluck us, sin!

The half-burnt chipmunk caking
beneath the chinar, we know, is your wrath;
the skeleton peering back
from a fading shikara, we know, is your right;
the wax-drops of the candle
around which you camp, and rub
sulphur into the gob of a doped Allah,
we know, are the tears of your faith;

come, pluck us, strike up
the uproar of a bite; let it rip through
the pashmina smog of your song
made of fire and tear and gas,
alarm God and rouse the alarm
for another Lal Ded,
another Kashmir,
another world where…