Zia Ather

Kashmir only bleeds in the district

Near what they insist is a border
the dust is still uneasy
on the graves, now only numbered

dead men’s shirts
hang from the nearby trees
untired flags touched by
kids too young to know poetry

the gash across the verdant body
now even deeper, the glass map
of our country, broken still

I swear, I picked up where you left
in this long war of learning
our Kashmir only bleeds

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