She can make the heat death of the universe
a thing of beauty,
and an exploding star an object of desire.
But the gravity
of untimely death eludes her magic. Killers
proceed like a curse written in an ancient alphabet. Death,
indifferent to color or class,
turns crowns of glory into meat hooks, pierces our flesh, steals
our breath, pulls us into the final black hole.
Our bodies, sanctified,
the mix of every color together, disappear
into the ultimate dark.
“Oxygen: Parables of the Pandemic” anthology inspired the “Oxygen” project to help India fight the deadly second wave of COVID-19 and raise substantial funds for GiveIndia and Project Hope, supporting the cause.