in the wake of a life’s end

a kind of gloom sets in the body,
that you can feel lying underneath
your breath,

your words careful, so that they do not
harm the light, your silence loud
enough to make your presence known,

not to counter the void left behind
but to embellish it with your steps
as you move here and there, and
speak solemnly in the shimmer of
another pain that may always stay
within, like a story’s sudden end —

death always leaves one astounded,
even if it is writ in the sky, and on
our fingers, as we touch and hold
each other, we know it is there in
our very blood, and yet it shocks &
deprives us of our effort to under-
stand its proximity when it slithers
inside the room like a voice caught
from miles away to prick our ear,
and say what was not awaited but
known, visible just as the stars are,

until they disappear in a blank fog
and the eyes don’t want to see or
be seen any more.

© Anmol Arora

Something I wrote yesterday after we got to know of my uncle’s passing.

Image source (MOURNING CHANT OF A WHALE, 2014, by Hari Beierl)
Linking it up with the
Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads