Babur in Farghana

The clear air crackles over the steppe,
trembles blue of a pool where breast of bird
skims the surface like a sigh.
His tunic is splattered with mud, ropes of hair
fall on eyes turbid like dark lake,
nomadic blood runs like streams that crisscross
the land his ancestors essayed.
Turban laced with sapphires cradles
rinds of melons from Farghana country.
He reads the horizon as he would a poem,
counts the rolls of hills fading purple at distance;
considers he’ll pitch his kingdom where blue
gets ashen grey.


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