He was 29
Many years later they found him in a monastery in China.
He agreed to be interviewed.
He looked happy in the eyes.
So I said,
“Hong Kong, June 2013.
You were 29.
You said your greatest fear was
That nothing would change,
That the government would continue to grant itself
Every time there is a new leader,
‘They’ll flip the switch’, you said.
. . .That it is only going to get worse
Until policies change.
Was incriminating everyone --
It was all being stored away.
You spoke of the ‘architecture of oppression’.
I wanted to shake your hand.
I wanted to tell my kid about you.
I wanted to have a kid so I could tell her
‘The public is owed an explanation.’
But you were afraid the people wouldn’t care.
And most didn’t.
They went home
And watched a show
And went to bed.
And things got worse,
Much, much worse.
But I had a family
And I told my daughters
And my son about you.
I named my son Edward.
And there were other heroes after you
Who refused to settle
For being ‘ingested by default’.
Thanks for what you did.”
His eyes were happy.
-- Gary Lindorff