“The man you loved is dead”

“The man you loved is dead”
is what the subject line
from a friend said.

They found his body
on a bright blue morning,
the kind of day meant for
going to the market
or communing with friends
in a park.

There was no note.
It appeared he had sat
on a bench to rest
and simply never got up
again.

A few passed by him
thinking he was simply
sleeping or deep
in thought. He wasn’t
a stranger to this bench
for the people here
but by the evening
when a neighborhood vendor
passed by a third time
offering kahve or cay
they finally found
that he had died.

He had been humored
and well-liked for a foreigner
on his own in this town.
He gave to schools and local
orphanages much of his time.
He did not speak about his past
besides the wistful, faraway look
he would have when describing
the lost love of his life.

The man you loved is dead
not from the gunshot or the knife wound
from neighborhoods others refused to traverse;
Nor the cancerous tumors
spread throughout his body
from a smoking habit he often cursed.
Not because of the alcohol poisoning
or the drugs thinning his blood
and generally making the shaking worse.

No,
the man you loved is dead
because he never escaped
the thoughts of you
inside his head.

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