To a Friend
After Parveen Shakir.
Girl! These moments are clouds
You let them pass and they’re gone
Soak up their moist touch
Don’t waste a single drop
Drench yourself for as long as
Your inner Earth remains thirsty
Listen to me, learn from me
Downpours don’t remember their way back
The summer brightness you go out to dry your hair in
Cannot read the road signs!
Rehan Qayoom is a poet of English and Urdu, editor, translator and archivist, educated at Birckbeck College, U of London; he is the author of About Time.