Author: Saba Siddique

One summer, amidst rumours of your escape
from your pedestal in the temples of Kumaon,
I saw you high above the conifers
pale arms resting on the mount
you rode so casually
hair like skeins of wool in the wind
bending to let you pass

Even from that great distance
of time and space
your eyes glinted like opaque rivers
on a dark summer evening

and met mine
but gave no answers to questions that rose
like lengthening shadows on dusk covered mountains.

Fountains rebuilt
stone by stone
cobble stoned paths laid
to follow old maps and blueprints:
even the newly planted jasmine creepers
cast their flower laden tendrils
on the very same paths
where every sunlit afternoon
regal robes brushed against lace and satin

and as before,
from across the hills,
the joyous gypsy sings,
mandolin on one thigh
his girl on the other

Only I remain
in that timeless lonely crease between two worlds
neither a glint in the eye of the guarding lions
nor a drop of water in the fountains
that shine iridescent
in the brilliant light of Granada