That linkage of warnings sent a tremor through June as if to prepare October in the hardest apples. One week in late July we held hands
through the bars of his hospital bed. Our sleep
made a canopy over us and it seemed I heard
its durable roaring in the companion sleep
of what must have been our Bedouin god, and now when the poppy lets go I know it is to lay bare his thickly seeded black coach at the pinnacle of dying. My shaggy ponies heard the shallow snapping of silk but grazed on down the hillside, their prayer flags tearing at the void-what we stared into, its cool flux of blue and white. How just shaking at flies they sprinkled the air with the soft unconscious praise of bells braided into their manes. My life simplified to "for him" and his thinned like an injection wearing off so the real gave way to
the more-than-real, each moment's carmine
abundance, furl of reddest petals lifted from the stalk and no hint of the black
hussar's hat at the center. By then his breathing stopped so gradually I had to brush lips to know
an ending. Tasting then that plush of scarlet
which is the last of warmth, kissless kiss
he would have given. Mine to extend a lover's right past its radius,  to give and also most needfully, my gallant hussar, to bend and take.
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