Having decided to live,
I eat salads, cut sweets,
take up walking. A small white dog
yaps fiercely behind his fence. I wonder
how it feels to act so earnestly.
At night my body resounds
with slow tides of blood. Wave after wave,
it says: you are, you are, you are.
I feel old, the way
only the very young do.
I listen to the cricketing
of bone and ligament,
the stiffening nodules of meat.
Last week, my cat died in the laundry room
balled up like a rag. This is the end
for every living thing. I haven't forgotten.
It still clutches my throat.
But it would be fine, filling the years
with some meaningless love.
Yapping day after day, stupidly
whole-hearted, the sense
of a good job well done.
You are, says the body.
You are dying, says the brain.
Yap yap, says the dog,
and goes inside for a treat.