-for Varavara Rao
It settled on me just before dawn
the day after I came to pay my respects—
heavy, like a thick wool blanket
on a not-quite cold night.
It stayed until the scratch
of a distant grass broom
swept it from the room,
like a gentle cloud of dust.
I did not really know him,
so I had no clear right to grieve,
but I knew what he meant to you,
and when I saw him lying there
in the company of those who loved him,
I remembered an afternoon long ago
when I found my own grandfather
lying still in his bed,
and how my aunt and I sat with him—
and I was so sure I could see
him breathing, but it was only me
that was shaking.
This is not a poem about bail pleas
Every word I write is against fascism.