your black heart finally rewrote
itself, and you knew it throughout
dear friend, you knew it
black, that bled through to true

you cut and erased
the trial, the sentence
you knew it was all a joke
the arrested, the penitent

and still the fire burnt

I remember you
earnestly, nakedly
flamboyant in a
somnambulant town

how my heart leapt to meet you
and our laughter intertwined

never once did you complain to me
as cancer ended your life
the painter who wrote,
“poetry is not a noun”