restricted access Not the Thousand and One Nights, and: Crossing Back
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Not the Thousand and One Nights, and: Crossing Back

Not the Thousand and One Nights

Not the thousand and one nightsbut the thousand and one fears,

each one as full    as a night.

Fear stuck to the travelers,and the travelers stuck to each other.

A single entity, a country in embryohurtling down the road,

its destination—morning [End Page 38]

Crossing Back

The line between birth and non-being.

The line between what happenedand the imagining.

A line so delicate a sparrow might havepicked it up in its beak.

A line of writing.

A line so definite—and so blurred.

Time to return the unending storyto itself.

Time to return everyoneto themselves.

Time to cross swiftly back

over the line. [End Page 39]

Moniza Alvi

Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in England. Her new poetry collection is At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe).