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Three Disintegrated Sonnets

1. Prism

for Abbas Husain, MD [ June 2020 ]

Abbas, do you think we are traveling towards
an end, not a clarification but
a long dispersion—kitchens, cities, rains
getting fizzy and further apart? Well, here
in Appalachia cornflower buds nipped
overnight by deer. And in Sharjah—not
today’s tall and silver Sharjah but the dust
town of your childhood, red bougainvillea 
line the school. And where are you, are you still
there, up in your cousin’s mulberry trees,
feasting? Your body and your bones stay here
when you die
, that’s what you said of the after-
life. Your body and your bones washed and buried
in a white shroud. The rest of you goes on

       like a passenger, only where we left from
       is coming, too, the bus the riders 
and every route become this massive plate-
              shaped prism dis- 
solving in the dark. So what do you say to the people 
when their mother or their grandfather has died? This 

person is going to stay on in our minds,
you say, now we have to be their guides.


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