Lost Column

For Richard de Souza



Bite marks on the wall,

boot stains on the rug,

your crumpled red tee shirt

chokes on the wrecked bed.


They sniffed around in your room for hours,

clawed through the shadows,

lifted prints off your thoughts,

left with your satchel, spilling words along the lawn.


No scrapbook of your columns,

no tin box of your poems,

no pirith chant,

no séance.


In the belly of the jungle,

on a pyre of tires,

they erased you

word by word.

Published in Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poems, 2010

ro7@mac.com © Ro Gunetilleke 2016