I move through the day like thick sludge, my feet
drag weight, my voice low, sparse, selective.
I pull myself up and out, look towards work and next year,
a favourite TV show, and think of her not being able.
Saying goodbye with her absent hand under mine,
thin skin rolling off her body, she begins to shed this life.
Our short hallway, a race track, our cats slalom
around corners with expertise, their legs no longer fishtailing behind.
A noise complaint at 7 am; we know our cats
don’t have room to stretch their claws, or the capacity to tell time.
A popping microphone and glowing stage; a heavy silence
breath held in and my words fill their ears.
Into the ring with another poet, this elbowing for space
in the local magazine, on the stage, in the mail, on the list.
The cars line the street, bumper to bumper, snails
turning into jaguars, watching for red circles.
He says he doesn’t want to go, go there, go anywhere
clutching his travel mug, glazed eyes seeing the tires in front.
The world wakes up without her;
my limbs are heavy and overworked.