FINAL PARTING 

last night it was too warm for January and we’ve already cranked
all the baseboards and it’s too late in the season to be on our knees

teasing them back and forth with every change so we cracked the window
heard the birds chirp with the first light after a night of turning

now I feel slow and pensive like grey Indy in the photo my dad sent an hour ago
with the subject line FINAL PARTING and Fawn says oh no Paul that’s too dark

though I have just listened to Elizabeth explain the illness in great detail
the diarrhea on the stairs and on their balcony and before the elevators

some rupture or blockage—but not a tear—experienced in the two weeks
they kennelled him as they prepared to move home, how he ran back

to the kennellers to say one final goodbye, remembered he once as a puppy escaped
at the pound and the other dogs just watched him run

which never happened, so impressed they called him Houdini said some dogs
are just liked by other dogs, no one knows why 

seemed to carry this until Saskatoon, no one knows what happened in the belly 
of the plane or maybe it was a calcification slow and natural 

being in the city or living with my parents or growing older, and faster 
as all dogs do, but he grew suspicious, hated air balloons

and mailmen, both newly abundant, and never seen before—now he’s dead 
remember how he used to climb up an ex when we were dating

as she crouched to pet him, her and no one else, perhaps he just wanted 
to get a little higher and saw an opportunity, no one could explain 

how he happened in our yard or why my parents felt so compelled to go back
and bring him home, just as I can’t tell you how I knew today 

he was the little brown bird caught beyond the automatic doors
running in circles through the store

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