Poetry at Sangam



BIG MOSQUE, BUKHARA by Priya Sarukkai Chabria

The sky’s lofted firozi gleam, immaculate and unsupportable.

Jade green dome
bears down on the thrust
of tiled gateway, tiled walls
patterned and glazed as cobalt

sunbursts, turquoise hexagons, ochre
shamshas, white stars entwined by tendrils
which end as buds in frozen ascent – each one
distilled from sandy soil and stone. Massed

fortress, its decorative designs repeat and
repeat, numbing sight. The body’s
entombed in alien structures, each
cell is rejected, dejected.

Then the Big Mosque pulls a trick.
It shrinks, slinks into the heart.

Time dilates:
the tiles are frozen reflections
of the cosmos. They now spill
embedded stars through space, the mosque reels
in prayer, constellations expand in your flesh.

A breeze lifts before the shadow
of memory falls over revelation.