“Postcard from Kashmir”
Kashmir shrinks into my mailbox,
my home a neat four by six inches
I always loved neatness. Now I hold
the half-inch Himalayas in my hand.
This is home. And this is the closest
I’ll ever be to home. When I return,
the colors won’t be so brilliant,
the Jhelum’s waters so clean,
so ultramarine. My love
And my memory will be a little
out of focus, in it
a giant negative, black
and white, still undeveloped.
(for Pavan Sahgal)
Ali, Agha Shahid. The Half-inch Himalayas. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 1987. Print.