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His death in Benares

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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.


Source: Poetry (March 2011)

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This poem originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

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His death in Benares

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