Sitting limply
next to me on the front seat, you
still had strength enough to lick
my face, even though I had brought
you to a place where you wouldn't
come back

Loving you more than life, I tried
to bolster myself while slipping
the key from the ignition, your one,
unbandaged eye trained weakly on me,
awaiting my touch on your now-gray
fur as I sat, pushing the minutes
away, trying to fight another
outburst, finally pulling you roughly
from the car to pretend I didn't care,
not feeling the sun warm on my back,
or your tangle of fur soft in my
hands, watching the bandage loosen
and fall free, the small patch of
bloody gauze so vivid against the
dingy pavement the only image I
remember clearly before taking
you inside to die

(previously published in Underground Voices)

© Cynthia Ruth Lewis