Daring to remember
i could not witness
feeling those dead in their nakedness
feels like the hardest political act —
harder than the hardest alliance-work
harder than any communion i’ve sought
with souls who live in flesh and blood.
What explanatory frameworks do I choose to know and tell
The privileges that make it easier for me to stand with a living other
knowing that becoming one with ‘them’ is almost always impossible?
Or the impossibility of receiving an assurance that
those who live in flesh can
ever stand responsibly with those who have gone?
Two syllables whose meaning
i could not translate
To neither my colleagues, nor friends, nor family
nor paper, nor pen, nor tears
nor airplane officials, nor priests, nor relatives
nor to splinters of childhood memories
that sear my insides
refuse to vanish
with the weight of histories
you carried in your brown eyes
histories that i must hurt so hard to own
even though you were always mine.
hidden, silenced, changed,
with your body
with your sanskars
despite the marks
that cannot be trusted?
Who shall audit the truths
of bodies that toiled
for six decades
marked with marks
Invisible to those
with his inauspicious, unblessed sanskars
until he died
thousands of miles away
of futile struggles to
made of truths
that have taught me more than anything else