Zan Bockes

(for Zander, 6/21/88 to 8/9/07)

Still, the slatted light
lingers in this faded room,
the blind shadows
spread across the bed
where you lie dying.
I know I need
to let you go, but
not yet.

The days blur and dwindle,
the promise of survival
leaking away with evening.

Once an orange kitten,
you laid your paw
on my cheek, purring
as I breathed, sustaining me
when I wished for death myself.

Now I fear to leave
your side, do not want
your soul to take flight
without my eyes to catch it,
without my hand
in your rumpled fur
easing your slip
into memory.

Your eyes turn distant,
your mouth opens, yet
your ribs still rise and fall
rise again,
fall again,

Is this your last breath?