Ilsa

DOG ON BED

I prayed for God to tell me, to send me a sign,
and He did, when I knelt next to you
to gently pet your head and pray over you
after I hung up the phone with the vet.
You looked at me with your jet-black eyes, reassured me
you were ready, and
I was making the right decision.

I didn’t wear mascara or eyeliner.
I knew my face would be a mess of black streaks if I did.

I came home feeling empty and numb,
my heart split in two, eyes swollen, face streaked with tears,
a knot in the deep pit of my stomach,
an aching in my chest.

I placed your tags on the kitchen windowsill,
picked up your bowl of water and empty dish
and left them both in the sink.
I couldn’t bear to wash them right away.

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