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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 3, September 2016


Yesha Shah
Surat, Gujarat, India


another birthday . . .
wondering what
my epitaph would read

There was this little known route to the beach. Uncluttered. Unpopulated. A zig zag semi-trodden path through the trees of an un-walled neglected cemetery. If one were to look at it from the main road the tombstones of the closely spaced graves appeared like pieces of misshapen jenga blocks arranged to collapse in a series. Some of them were tilted, some chipped and a few seem to have gone missing. The Arabic inscriptions on these mud crusted markers were barely legible.

Never were there any visitors to this graveyard. Except for pairs of groping lovers for whom this was the only rent-free place to steal kisses without being disturbed. With this high a degree of involvement they wouldn’t have noticed if a spirit rose from somewhere around and tapped on their shoulder. However, they reported sightings of translucent people, hearing strange whispers and feeling invisible hands brush past them. Owing to this, the beach revelers made their way out at sundown and generally folks kept away.

Recently this ancient resting place of the dead was mauled up and three plush multi-storey apartments facing the Arabian Sea came up there. The builder probably heard no voices.

eventide waves
our names no longer there
in one heart



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