The L Word - A Ghazal

(First Published in The Four Quarters Magazine, April 2014)

Such epistemic murk around the L word.
Aren't all trying to work around the L word?

No Shireen for me, no Heer, I'm no Qais,
Other desires too lurk around the L word.

Jehangir's City, Shalimar, Anarkali,
Left my heart there to bark around the L word.

Tigresses may take all in Sundarbans,
A male, what use my quirks around the L word?

In Arabic, come seek, 'refuge' in Maaz,
What use being a Turk around the L word?

Maaz Bin Bilal is a poet, translator, writer, and academic. He particularly loves the Ghazal form both in Urdu and English and writes and translates into the latter. He earned his PhD in English from Queen's University Belfast in 2015 and currently teaches as Assistant Professor at Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, Sonipat.