His Favorite Song

By Irtif Lone

And we decided to meet again.
In the orchards of almonds
blooming flowers, shimmering sun
the temping smell of garden
I waited for long.

I looked at Zabarvan,
the calmness of Dal,
the rowing noise.
What on earth could stop him from coming?
He never broke his promise.
Phone rang Kashmiri music.
It was his favorite song,
Unknown number I thought for a while

I ran to the hospital, Sweating.
Perspiration covered my forehead,
drained my body shaking with fear.
Traffic jam, horn blow,
vendor’s noise, smoke, stink.
Borrowed cigarette choked me,
water gushed through my eyes.

Someone offered water,
in a dirty steel glass.
I drank without hesitation.

I could read the hoarding,
SMHS on left.
I got down from the bus.
Fingers tracing his name, trauma ward.
Sign board showed straight and left,
I rushed up.
The ward was crowded,
I made my way.
I could barely see him,
he wall all red.
He hated to wear red,
he always said it was the color for women.
Bathed in this color now
he looked at me with a faint smile.

Doctor caught my hand
took me away, my hand was sweating.
He felt uneasy,
firm and strong hands loosing grip.
I wanted to run away.

Again trauma ward,
Faint smile had not gone,
eyes still wide open, staring without blink,
body cold
lungs not breathing.
Phone rang,
Kashmiri music, his favorite song
he wasn’t listening.

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