that people go, in pain, and cannot stay.
Last month, last week, last hour of last day.
He took my hand. And my voice might have cracked
but his did not. A sort of madcap grace
he had. We used to think it was the drink.
He'd laugh, be serious, dance on the brink
of parapets. No mask behind his face.
He wrote, once, of a gentle alien spy
observing, liking. Someday going back.
That wasn't him. He has no chance to pack
some souvenirs. He won't leave, he will die.
Cheeks slightly gaunt, his shy sardonic smile
haunts, like his rich sad sweet rococo style.