The Tomb of Amir Khusru
Trees heavy with birds hold
the afternoon up with their hands.
Arches and patios. A tank of water,
poison green, between red walls.
A corridor leads to the sanctuary:
beggars, flowers, leprosy, marble.
Tombs, two names, their stories:
Nizam Uddin, the wandering theologian,
Amir Khusru, the parrot’s tongue.
The saint and the poet. A grim
star sprouts from a cupola.
Slime sparkles in the pool.
Amir Khusru, parrot or mockingbird:
the two halves of each moment,
muddy sorrow, voice of light.
Syllables, wandering fires,
every poem is time, and burns.