If I fall to a stray missile,
and the dawn comes without me,
mourners will gather near my coffin,
like a flock of black swans
on a moonlit sea.
My dreams will hang on the casket,
like orphans awaiting an embrace.
As I longed to live, let me depart well.

If I fall,
remember my black hair like a veil of wool,
and my brown eyes, like embers
in burnt winter wood.
Think of how I dodged death before,
but death is a persistent player,
never losing in hide-and-seek.

If I pass away, I want a humble grave,
where my body can rest in repose,
with two complete hands to clasp,
two legs to race the clouds,
and two eyes to be seen
like Roman Bronze.

If I die, I do not want to die alone,
not in a bag, tossed in a random hole,
not to be buried by strangers’ hands,
or labeled as anonymous.
If a missile claims me,
I refuse to be obscured
under a shroud of dust.
May my skin remain crystalline,
and my lips retain their vivid glow
for the tales still untold.

If I depart, when the war ends,
as days sweep the withered leaves,
and the melted candles rekindle their wicks,
and children laugh once more,
as my worn body becomes mere bones,
recall my desire
to witness
the citrus blossoms in my sunlit yard.
If I am no longer with you,
remember me happy
remember me alive.

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