Dedicated to Smokey Kemp. Beloved cat and companion.

The holy father of lies
says there is no heaven for you.
Then why, when the capillaries
of my lungs become diluted
with tub water, do I see
your whiskered face?

My glimpse of the afterlife –
of you upright, scratching
my quadriceps;
with those glossy brown eyes.
Reminiscent of times
before I told the vet I accept,
the catheter that I inject,
the decayed tooth I infect,
that goodbye I regret.

And I can do nothing
but try to apologize
for the way you died.
I am sorry my boy
for not keeping you alive;
you will live on
in this pen by my side.

Holy father of lies,
let the tears reside,
for years – in my eyes.