Lightness of Being in a Heavily Militarised Zone

before they lay barbed wire
across our tongues
let’s sing of almond blossoms
before they hammer our heads to
harvest thoughts let’s think
what we want to think
before they wall our sleep
let’s whisper dreams
into cold cruel ears
before they blind us
with a burst of lead
let’s mirror our darkness
let’s engrave this story
with fingertips on palms
before they erase our words

–poem by Kashmiri poet Asiya Zahoor