By Raihan Rahimi
If it was up to me, I would love Afghanistan and embrace it hard. I would breathe in the smell of girls’ hair, listen to their footsteps walking, their throats singing. I would wear Hazaragi clothes, put on a pakul, put eyeliner around my eyes, wear bracelets on my arms and dance among green grass.
I used to break Daikundi’s almonds under berry trees in Panjshir with Badakhshan garlands, wash my face in Band-e Amir and walk around Ghulghula a hundred times. I’d go to Herat on Eid and decorate my hands with henna like its walls. By reciting poems, I would ask Hafiz, Saadi and Maulana into Afghanistan as guests.
I used to spend spring in Mazar e Sharif and autumn in Nurestan. Sometimes I would go to Ghazni, wear a Hazaragi dress, play the Dambora, speak Hazaragi words and have fun. I would get drunk from the sweetness of Charikar grapes and paint my lips with the redness of Kandahar’s pomegranate. I combed the Horse Crest in Saiyad and visited around Kapisa. We sat together, sang local music and repeated “one step forward and one step back, darling dancers.” I pictured joy and life in the sky of Panjshir.
Kabul was my heart
Beautiful and colorful
Beautiful like I was, like you were, like us
It was colorful like my earrings, and I laughed with happiness.