Is this not a strange life to which I call you? The morning after death there's laundry to do, tiles to scrub, an absence to let be. Still each window frames his gaze. Yesterday he lurched to the lanai, wanting out. Bryant carried him to the flower pot that holds rain water. He set his left paw in it, put his head between dense leaves, drank. A last offer of chicken, refused. I tried to close his eyes after, but the muscles keep them open. His white whiskers lay on the blanket, his ears alert. Sound is not a stain to leave behind. Morning is quiet, except for birds and the rooster I startled. This is vigil to come after vigil's end. Vigilance is what we're called to, the presence that makes this present hurt. There is comfort in our clichés—the other side, the seeing again—and while I'll mark you down for them, today I drink them like water from Tortilla's pot.
--1 March 2015