The whole morning, I was humming as I drew. I am learning to dip the notes into each other, slowly. I repeated a phrase you sang – it is a world in itself for me – and my heart goes straight to the single note that diverges from the rest.

My music teacher’s voice is in my head too now. “Look at that note, how it contrasts with the rest,” she is always saying, alerting me to reach out with my ears.

I miss you. I have to get to work now, but I am thinking of Agha Shahid Ali, of a little beauty I read years ago. I have shared it with so many people since – friends, strangers, teachers, poetry lovers and others, but I have never thought of it so wistfully. Look at what you did.

Stationery
Agha Shahid Ali

The moon did not become the sun.
It just fell on the desert
in great sheets, reams
of silver handmade by you.
The night is your cottage industry now,
the day is your brisk emporium.
The world is full of paper.
Write to me.

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