His death in Benares

By Kabir
Translated from the Hindi by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

For Geoff Dyer

his front yard
is the true Benares
      — Devara Dasimayya,
          tr. A.K. Ramanujan

His death in Benares
Won’t save the assassin
From certain hell,

Any more than a dip
In the Ganges will send
Frogs—or you—to paradise.

My home, says Kabir,
Is where there’s no day, no night,
And no holy book in sight

To squat on our lives.