A week after Evander dies
I sweep the last of his fur
from the plank floors.
Dark, difficult floors that
are a challenge to keep clean,
with or without a cat.

Death keeps company
with our worst memories,
the way he crawled behind
the toilet, the sink.
Sticking his head beneath
the baker’s rack and finally,
resting in front of the screen door,
as though waiting to leave.

Until we fell asleep,
giving him peace,
you on the kitchen floor a few feet
from where he lay,
me in the next room on the couch.

An hour later, 1:20 a.m.,
and then we wrapped him
in his favorite green towel
that matched his eyes.

In the morning we buried him
in the wild corner of the yard,
outside the window that’s over my desk,
where the bird bath sits,
the only thing we brought
from the house that burned,
except Evander.


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