‘Karachi 1968’ – Taufiq Rafat

Karachi is the only city I know
where barbers solicit like whores, and papayas
are considered fruit. Sandwiched between
the desert and the sea, it swells by reclamation,
and points to its belly shamelessly.
A wind instant burg, it lionises
artists whose chief merit is a big mouth.

There is no weather here as we northerners
understand weather. The season telescopes
a sort of summer into a sort of winter,
topped by a mini-monsoon. Each new morning
brings no hope of change. Generally the clouds
are sexless, mute, and above our affairs.
A splitting sky announces a jet not rain.

No, I do not think I shall come to terms
with this grey place. It shortens my breath
and pinches my eyes. On bad roads automobiles
smelling each others’ rear jostle their way
the beach. A manure truck leaves its trail.
At 2 a.m. the whirling airport searchlight
brandishes its sword over the hushed city.

3 Comments so far

  1. mansoor (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

    hhmm.. interesting find cy.

  2. Arsalaan Haleem (unregistered) on February 14th, 2007 @ 4:24 pm

    GOOD with a Capital G.

  3. ash (unregistered) on February 15th, 2007 @ 10:23 am

    :)How far north did our poet come from? i have yet to see a sexy cloud,- papaya;s considered a fruit in many other cities too – i believe the babars are still considered pretty halal (taliban out of favor) and karachi weather? I am dying for it dying !!!

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