Many eyes passed through the crowd,
but only you saw the saddest face in it.
You made note of the scars and pyres aflame,
missing pieces in the world’s shifting shape,
an abridged reality served up by the State.
Fiercely subtracting, you found a frame
where lay unsung heroes and victims of hate,
etching in each image a wakeful story,
a mise-en-scène we won’t forget –
too hard to look at, too real to close our eyes,
chipping away at the plaster of our conscience.
The images dug so deep they live on
in the absence of the one who pointed the lens
at the face of breaking hearts and pitiless bullets.
And yet, how you fought
to be human in the empire of terror,
to catch every flotsam at the shores of life,
to uncover plastic-wrapped hopes
carried across borders without a passport,
knowing, there is no safe passage for truth.
Aritry Das is a journalist who moonlights in creative writing and dreams of a feminist revolution. She tweets @aritry.
Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty