* * *
There is a life of my choosing that musters its strength
to thrive, live and to make a difference.
Just like how you made yours to be – for the family,
before plunging to death from the Burj [Khalifa]
or lost the war to the warmth of the sun.
No man is ever so poor or rich,
that he cannot afford to love or be loved.
No reason but love for me to wake up every morning,
or the thrill of a spoken word, a breath and a warm smile in reach.
Just like how you wished to prosper in the kindness of a stranger.
My thoughts are along with you atop the death train
– la bestia,
A smiling young man you were, one second ago,
the next – a limp body in the overgrown unworn path.
A heatstroke at 16 has sent you home sooner than you wished for.
Hope was not even a living thing when it put your mind to it.
Just like yours, the mind is a slave of thoughts and my retorts.
When you crossed that fence, that country, that border,
and took a leap, you had breathed life into hope,
leaving behind a child’s face, always the promise of unconditional love.
Just like how you and I were born into love
and for the first time, held the children in our arms with hope.
“Where to?”, the mind will not question you anymore.
No disease or fly ridden living quarters awaits you,
where many times you told yourself, “Love made me do it.”
Life makes us forget that as humans we were meant to have rights,
And makes us wish that our death is painless for those loved ones.
That sheet and the hat that you carried for the cold earth,
saved your tears for hunger and social justice into that soup
that was stirred or the ragged coat you waited in that long line.
There will be no one to cheat you of your one scoop of lentils,
that cup of rice, the leg of a duck or the tail of a fish.
At the dinner table, biting into my ripe tomato,
I will count your pennies for all the pounds you picked
and the blood and bones that you were made up with.
No flies or their disease will bother you and
that excrement hole in the ground will not consume your dignity.
Don’t think of all those debts you had wished to pay off with your head.
In the end we’ll all share your feeling that every breath was worth it,
so, with the final beating of your heart, make love to your thoughts.
That hole in the ground that you are planted on,
will sprinkle a bit of dust with the first drop of rain.
And until I am left alone to die,
there will be a few more times I will tell myself,
“Love made me do it.”