Leaving Your City

In the midnight bar
your breath collapsed on me.
I balanced on

the tip of your smile,

holding on to your words
as I climbed the dark steps.

Meticulous,
your furniture neatly arranged for death,

you sharpened the knife
on the moon’s surface,
polished it with lunatic silver.

You were kind,
reciting poetry in a drunk tongue.
I thought: At last!

Now I loiter in and out
of your memory,

speaking to you wherever I go.

I’m reduced to my poverties

and you to a restless dream
from another country

where the sea is the most expensive blue.

* * *

My finger, your phone number
at its tip, dials the night.

And your city follows me,
its lights dying in my eyes.

Agha Shahid Ali