I wanted my heart to bloom
and shelter a shadow of love.
when the heart was soaked in passion
and was wet,
I wanted to wrench it dry
on love itself.
I wanted to paint a picture,
in indelible print, across
the canvass of my heart.
I stand today
in front of the Taj Mahal.
I watch the marble smiling
as the sunlight gives it a touch.
I feel gusts of wind
as they come across
the heights of love here.
I listen to the music, waking in
the dream-eyed visitors’ quiet hearts.
I don’t know
whether I’m thinking of Shah Jahan,
Mumtaj or myself.
I’m quite disillusioned, stupefied,
enveloped under an expanding heart.
Shah Jahan who proved
an emperor to be shorter than a lover,
who turned a grave into a temple
who gave his beloved a place of God
and converted love into a prayer.
there exists one difference between
he was all in all, and if
I’d ever grown prosperous like he was,
I’d not have waited for my beloved’s death
before I erected a Taj Mahal.
(Translated from Nepali by Manu Manjil)
© Suman Pokhrel