A cigarette was alive in a finished world.
I again smell it, the struck matchstick.
Agha Shahid Ali, 1994
"My silence speaks to me in verbs; days of not getting out of my closet-like room deprived of the sun, the half eaten apple browning by the nightstand, the matted hair unwashed since days, the stutter of words sinking down my throat... It speaks to me like an old sorrow of being on my own for a bit too long as I sit, companion bereft, with my silence ricocheting between my ears like an echo of the traumas that surface as scars on my battle-field skin.
[...] Should i write? What is there to write about? And suppose I do who will read freedom into these words i trap in ink? I ask myself the questions that drift back to the blank shore of the memory of my love and its deserted shipwreck lost in the tenses; the past - a kaleidoscope, the future - a broken mirror [...]" .