Death, Where Is He?

Having burnt the body
I'm looking around for Death.
Where is he?

Doesn't he exist
Apart from the corpse?
If not,
Why doesn't he burn with it?
Why does he return
Time and again to the earth?

Where is he?
Raking through the corpse,
Sifting through the ashes.
I'm searching.

Everyone is lost, one and all,
Immersed in their own business
(Is this, then, the world?)
man, shadow,
Funeral ghat, river, stone steps
Going down to the water, -
Why, where's he,
That thing called Death?

Is he in the water?
In my own shadow
That's seen in the water?

3:54 PM 6 June 2000
Putli Sadak

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