I decide when I see the worms. Today you will die by chemical injection in the back of your neck or some other soft receiving place. I will hold your hand. I call your foot your hand. And he will stroke your head and look into your eyes, and I promise that the room itself with all its equipment will become immaterial, and all others inconsequential in light of the ghost that will break free from your stomach and exit your mouth. This, of course, will be unforeseen. I will wonder if it’s normal. Not believing I could do so, I will let go of your hand and they will keep you and the blanket I tucked under you for the purpose of dignity. That will be goodbye. Then I’ll stuff all my regrets back in my head, cover my mouth with one hand and fumble at the side door. Handle or knob? Then he and I. Just the two of us. We’ll stop at a station to get gas in order to make it back home. This too, will be unforeseen. And no one can tell me how to navigate the first night, so I will slip into a darkness of white ash on black; certain I’m not watching a fire burn, but feeling a million pin pricks. With the moon in full affliction, I am down to hair-roots sitting on a rock flummoxing for what might be left of you hidden in the grass. And I don’t like these disarranged parts: night and day, dog and human, blood and bone, tumor and worm.
In loving memory of our dog of sixteen years, Rookie.
Submitted to Real Toads with words, “I am down to hair-roots” credited to poet, Wole Soyinka.