FOR JOSHUA RUBIN
between leaves and apples
they found you:
tall, thin, some inches of skin
clinging to your teeth.
your glasses of charred wire,
bits of your shirt
still plaid, bits of you
rising with the autumn air.
Nayyara Noor's voice scaled and descended the Khamaaj
as we put your face on lamp posts. All evenings fell
with your pawned blood on the streets.
Surpass fear or let life pass us by—
to die or to live: this matter's still in the air.
The rain left bare the scented candles,
let flow the words of poems,
the large R.I.P. Josh,
your face, sketched in pencil,
lying under the roses.
It was a December without jazz gigs.
We cracked peanuts and listened quietly
as the trombone wept like a truck.
Adeeba Talukder is a Pakistani-American poet and translator based in Brooklyn, New York.