In Death

they say—in death—all questions are answered
so I lay prostrate beside you
on the pavement, on the side of the road,
with long weeds tending over our heads.

they say—grace—it is a virtue
and here I find grace in the curve
of your silent tail, in the solemness of the bent grass.

they say—smoking—it kills, but
the two of us are long gone
yourself on the outside, myself on this road.
my stiff fingers roll the paper loose,
your whiskers peeking through the ends,
sniffing, ever curious, ever questioning.

they say—nine lives—are what you had
but I have lived nine times over
felt nine times more
shed nine times the tears
over the proof of your existence.

they say—He giveth—and He taketh away
and I give you a light, to be polite.
up curls the smoky whiteness and you
are warmed.

I take in your life—
yes, me, on the roadside,
with a cigarette and a burning cat.

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~ by O'Brien on September 26, 2009.

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