The mahogany box is heavy
and inside you lie in a plain plastic baggie.
Oh! I cry. Oh! You must be released,
for you do not belong inside,
but instead everywhere we walked together
in this mountain cove. I dig,
bits of you lodge into my fingernails,
you are softer and finer than I imagined,
but then what would I ever imagine but
your solid body and soft fur and big brave heart?
I let you drift through my fingers
into the wind that’s come down from
the mountain ridge, and as you drift,
sunlight filters through you so that
I see layers and layers of you
and sun and light and prisms of color
that aren’t really colors at all but memories
of color; the heaviest parts of you
fall to the ground and lie bone-white bone,
but the light of light of you hovers
in the air and dances,
dances and hovers and lingers
before all of you slowly disappears,
dissolves in the cool morning air
in the cove at Killian Knob.
I am awed, then I am alone.
Good old girl. That’s my girl,
that’s my good good old girl.