In her dress of ash, bone-white and jubilant,
she dismounts her tongue-lolling horse
and hurls her outstretched arms into an orgy of silent men.
He hears only her shriek and noon-crows.
The sky is piercing blue,
dabbed with rosy clouds.
Her stomach-scream wrenches plumes of burning pitch and her slick blade
severs a branch. It gapes at the man
like a toothless mouth.
It hangs on a thread over his naked-soft baby flesh
as a crow pecks his cheek.
Someone’s hand rests on his waist like a lover,
a dark flutter of wings blows his hair as crow picks lice from his beard.
He knows his eyes will be next in the quiet.
The blue is sharp and startling. This blue Damascus sky,
like the sky under which he and Amira lay that day, laughing
and sharing lemonade in the park near the Cedars,
the vivid shock of blue
that kissed them as they, later that day, climbed the mountain,
where she teased him, poked him in the belly.
His eye clears and sees that the harridan is Scud screaming,
crow breath and tongue, Banshee is Mig
ripping the flag of sky. His eye bursts like a grape.
he listens for the scratch of the tree.
As he dies, he wonders for some seconds why
those fighter pilots
think their planes