AFTER GHALIB

What image ever mocked the lordly hand that formed it?

Depicted figures fade because they dress in paper.

Don’t ask what wells those melancholy loners drill

To flood the desert with milk and make a dawn of nightfall.

Restraint undone by piercing desire–now that’s worth seeing,

The blade bereft of its edge as breath forsakes the body.

Reason, set your watchful traps wherever you like.
My theme, my phoenix, soars on gusts the speaker exhales.

Say that I’m bound in chains, flames licking at my feet:
Each link is forged of hair, consumed (as I am!) in fire.