The Best Death


An ode for Swami Devopama, by Rashid

flower composite for Devopama

I am not Keats
i told him straight
nor is this bird
a nightingale
yet nonetheless its joy
invades my disarrayed
and aching heart

its song contains
and is too happy for
the mellow sloping lawns
and dark moist shrubberies
the labyrinthine yellow
rose and time-frayed
wheel-chaired waiting folk

I said its song
like Keats’
invites me
to an easeful death
roses he said
are the lotus of the west
beauty is love is death

this blind blackbird
half imitates a nightingale and half
the ringtones of my phone
its dying note recalls us
to our makeshift self
when just before
there was no self

RashidPoem and illustration by

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