I assume you had a life before we met

Filled with love, pain, victories, and defeats

But for me your story began when I entered into it

A transient visitor of your present

Your past existed solely in stories, your future in dreams

It’s alluring to assume that your life became frozen in time when I left, a cross-section of a whole calcified into my comfortable solipsism


I know now you had a life after that insular present

Filled with more pain, your victories warped to accommodate it

My solipsism violently denied


You bore your cross while my back was turned

Not our sins, but mankind’s shame, weighed heavy on your shoulders

Stumbling toward your needless crucifixion


The news of your passing is no gospel

A martyr without a cause, a death without passion

Your suffering brings no redemption; we are not yet saved

We continue to drift along without you, oblivious

Your glory exists only in the memory of the names once held by statistics


In gratitude for that memory,

RIP Vir Thongpheng, February 28, 1979 – April 6, 2023