Azad Ashim Sharma: To Gurgaon

To Gurgaon

I left my heart on the toll road
acrid taste of ash in my mouth
walking amongst the haze
looking up at the new skylines
chillums full of freebased futures.
One hit of the charras and the past arrives
the train of my 1st birthday in Garden Estate
walls around my eyes before their divorce.
I feel dislocated here
we went to the Ganga to pray
putting clay mutkas in the water
I saw all those boys the brits beheaded
when the Yamuna flowed red for 14 days.

How can you speak of return
to a place you never called home?
You tell me I’m longing for it
when all I ever wanted was to leave.

I left my heart on the toll road
next to demonetized intestines
that bloodied marigolds at the Garba.
You sing to me a waning nationalism
searching for purity and bovine sensuality
I am left dancing your lost rhythm
swatting away plasma bellied locusts
rubbing sassafras into the dry dirt
because this town is beating itself to death.


© Azad Ashim Sharma 2018

Azad Ashim Sharma is a poet living in South London. Between 2011 and 2017 Azad studied English Literature and Critical Theory at the University of Sussex where he became affiliated with the ‘Brighton Underground’ poetry scene. In 2017 Azad’s first collection of poetry, ‘Against the Frame,’ was published by Barque Press. This collection engages with the concept of trauma as a result of the experiences of on-going conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Additionally, these poems explore the vulnerability of Azad’s complex Islamic-Hindu hybrid identity and experiences of xenophobia in a political landscape punctuated by Donald Trump, Brexit, and the rise of new fascisms. In 2018 Azad co-founded the87press, a publisher of experimental literatures. Azad is currently studying for an MA Creative and Critical Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London.

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