Babur in Kabul

The northern wind from the Hindu Kush
set the talisman tied to the doors jangle,
prayers of souls drowned the lake, greened
the meadow. Dead skin from wintry nights

in the cold desert fell away like vermins in
the warm embrace of smoked rhubarb
that filled the air of the hill country,
blue with traces of  silver and lapis lazuli.

Fields stained red with madder roots
spread like shawl of heavens at his feet, but
he sought echoes of different nights,
visions of lands that entombed lost legacies.

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