Farewell Beloved

by Michelle Demers

     They ask me to tell them what Shahid means: Listen, listen:
     It means “The Beloved” in Persian, “witness” in Arabic.
                                                                 from “In Arabic”

The year you left Earth, the world
              was tearing itself apart.
                          Shards of towers exploding, reverberating.

You quietly exited, one foot planted in each homeland.
              Would you have been forced to choose?
              Memories in one place, heart in another.

Leaving might have been the best gift
              though not your choice,
                          not ours.

May you be rowed through Paradise
              on a river of light, Shahid, exquisite ghost.

Beloved, you are still singing.
              We hear you long into the night.