On the Death of a Friend at 27

Now that I have quarrelled with everybody
Because you died
And everything is like the empty paper before me
I start scratching pen on paper
A grazing, a ravishing, something like love-making
For, I'm not afraid of death
Each evening a sun dies
And a sun is reborn again each morning
And in each friend I've only seen you
Before you were born
And now too, after you are gone....
I begin with the compensations
Because I know that everyone is left at the end
                                                with the Void

Poet before empty paper
Prospero's pen or wand before Sorrow's sea
Break it! Break it!
They said your lips were blue
That does not frighten me
They had taken out all your vital parts:
Eyes for the blind, heart for the heart-broken
Liver for the drunken ones
from one drunk and blind and heart-broken
The heart is a cup / Which drinks and drinks our blood up
You looked as if you were asleep
Your brother lowered you into your grave
A mound of earth the rains washed away
The flesh we love is now the love of worms
The grass we loved will now grow over your grave
Mother of God protect you
Everyone has eyes and a father
But you were born without a father
                    and without eyes
And now for her the whole world dies


When they come looking for you
in the monsoon
You'll be hiding / laughing in the grass

And, if you have become the Beloved
Who was the lover?

(for Yunus Khan, d. 30 July 2002)

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