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For Bruce

                   1.

In the end:

sun and sand, an occasional

sex-mate, long afternoons

on the beach, a small

room, a simple life, a few 

cats for companions, a

life on your terms, you

knew that’s what matters —

terms you choose for yourself

in a place you can love,

how else to die, married

to life, in sickness and health,

for richer, for poorer, at

ease in the world, feeling

both lucky and free?

                    2.

Bit by bit the world I love

vanishes soul by soul, at

my shoulder a bevy of ghosts

who read as I write, words

coming out of the blue

like birds on the wing

in summer. So many now

gone, like you, my friend,

taking with you the human

graces I prize: the gifts

of Becoming, of friendship,

of generosity, of knowing

what it means: being a man.

Bruce. Bruce! Days of pleasure,

days of joy, how lucky you

were, at home, as you

said, in your world!

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