The little one has mucus gathered at her nose this evening and she lays in my arms unpurring and still, onyx eyes open.
Her tiny animal heart
beats at a speed she surely cannot take for too long.
My fingers touch it, fluttering wildly in the cage of her ribs, beneath her front limbs
when I lift her up to feel the sun.
The skin of her ears is paper thin, red and veined, translucent and warm.
He, an old man in a crumpled suit, bones only recently filtered into the earth, bends to sing from his gut,
while I cannot draw enough air into my lungs by gasping, nor expel enough by sighing.
There is no equilibrium to the air inside and out.
He is gone, and the one I have distorted my days and my dreams around has not written since his birthday. No Christmas wishes nor simple words of consolation.
I grew up the day I stood in the same room as death,
smelt the breath, slow and stale, and felt the skin turn from blood to wax. I want to sit with it a while, accept it fully
and be fearless in our interactions.
But I don’t want my sweet little companion to go just yet.
Not with the wheeze in her chest, and this childish ache in mine.