THE INVISIBLE LIFE
My very old dog continually licks
The floor for crumbs that are
Not there, the instinct to live
Drives his bent body from stove
To sink to table. He is trying to lick
The invisible life from the floor
As he wobbles from room to room
Before his crooked legs give out.
I lift him so he can continue,
Oblivious, as the life seeps
Out of his bewildered body
That I stroke every night
And the first thing each morning.
—from Rattle #34, Winter 2010