The boy who lost his mother gnarled like a bear—
tough bear he.
But away from the bestial,
he had softness in his eyes—
they laughed even when he and his words were sharp
and sometimes ambiguous.
He showed the plumpness of his belly to his closest friends
and grunted like a pig and poet,
laughing behind his scars
with eagerness to taste color from afar.
He took from the sunglow like an artist hunched at his easel
and painted everyone—
even the ones who had no power to imagine.
He painted deaf-mutes with love that ran down his breast,
ripping chords from the constellations
and opening creation’s ingenious blindness
to music that volleyed beyond his art that transcended ages
and volleys still
in us all.