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To Those Who Lie With Me

Though most of my heroes are cold
and no longer bleed (not by their right names),
yet they can touch me and fill me
with the bloody warmth they once had,
my Pantheon of dead poets.

I call them poets, though most wrote novels.
I call them heroes, though most were messes.
I call them dead, though their heroism
is to have outlived so much death, including
that of their own bodies. I call them

and I call them, but not when I lie
beside you and (by your heroic grace and my
right name) am briefly hero enough for me.