• Alphabet of Grief

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    “Every time I sit down to write I dare the universe. I dare my own death. I dare my 26 horses into syllables and we take off. I’m aware of the risks—everything that my silence would keep hostage rears before me…”
    ~ Rachel Eliza Griffiths,
    poet and visual artist

    to Baboo M
    unexpected your exit was,
    a departure catching
    many unprepared
    and raging with questions
    and denials, “why? not yet. a few
    more years?!?”

    but you had left clues
    of how you already
    rehearsed the highest
    liberation of a refined spirit
    about to break from the coils
    of discomfort, suffering,
    the occasional banal day

    you a solitary dweller in the deepest
    of Pinsao’s woods,
    you a painter of flowers that bled
    into the Cordillera skyline,
    you a deity who wore a crown of
    whitened snake bones on your hair,
    you a broker of peace, a breaker of silences
    for their transmutation to verses,
    you a crosser of borders extraordinaire,
    you a feeder of multiplying meals
    for we were all hungry children at your table

    the beating of the gongs
    ushers your entry to the beloved skyworld
    that you had long ago reached
    your hands out to
    when you came to
    tarry in these mountains

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