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If questions are to be death sentences, let us all be martyrs by Shahzeb Athar


Art by Rohan Chakravarty


This tale I speak of, of three dreams ago-

my eyes were witness, some screams ago.


There is nothing new to this story, oft repeated-

books speak of tyranny some regimes ago.


This collective denial is the fuse of revolution.

Waking up to birdsong seems memories ago.


Desensitized to our own hurts we march to a death.

The kids you seek? Abducted, some streets ago.


As these calloused hands traced the face of a brother-

yet another, grief turned to rage, bodies ago.


Peddlers of hate praise weavers of lies.

Spirit of democracy? Blinded, some schemes ago.


A deafening silence is the inheritance of our children.

The humanity that you pray for? Passed, heartbeats ago.


Will you console the wronged ones, Paradox of Your Name?

“Mother’s grief passes Seventh Sky” some shrieks ago.


Maa clutches at me when I step out, Maa-

whose happiness passed some worries ago.


Infallible, Unquestionable, Ultimate Decreer.

Debate and accountability? Lost, some critiques ago.


Truth? A myth you seek? I’m sorry but-

Ana Al-Haqq was modified, some screens ago.


Your arrogance has already sealed your fate, O Oppressor-

Time witnessed many like you, some wheels ago.


It feels like I slept through the last summer:

baad-e-nau-bahaar passed just a breeze ago.


To buy a soul, I had to sell my heart, yet-

echoes of your words I heard daydreams ago.


Paradox of Your Name, you, who ask me, “What say?”

Do you forget? All my words were yours, just reams ago.


If questions are to be death sentences, let us all be martyrs.

My head gave up bowing some enemies ago.

 
 
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