Who knows what stung him,
made him bitter enough to pour harm
from a heart that festered.
Clearly not an accident of birth, but
some insect predator, equally innocent,
that marred his goodness. Maybe
I missed a small mark on his hand
as he took my hand (my skin
thin, yes, but unbroken)
and when I clasped, as one does,
I set it moving through him. I never chose
to have an enemy. That poison
probably hurt me more than it hurt him.
Nearly killed me. Now I am alive
and he is dead. I pray he had,
apart from the scar,
clean blood and blue sky
and the light in his eyes
as he walked away from me
into that scant blue decade left to him.
I hope he laughed.