Last night I awoke
in a stillness,
cold with the streetlamp
light streaking through
circulating through the
ceiling fan. I could see
snow on the window panes
and hear snow falling outside
and the sound of car tires
churning, and I thought:
what if the dream was not
that from which I woke
but this into which I’ve entered?
I heard coyotes howling in the hills,
and I sat by the open window
and smoked a cigarette
and listened to them.
They too had suffered loss.
Though we are not the same
I understood the dreams of pain
contained within their mourning,
baffled, they too, at how we
fall and rise
From beyond the hills came a figure
limping, a youngling, no larger than
raccoon, disoriented, injured,
bleeding his path onto the snow.
I watched him limp and whimper
for a while, making figure eights
in my driveway, until he circled around
three times and lay his body in the snow,
waiting, breathing, illuminated by a streetlamp
and nothing more, trapped here and forever separated,
waiting, like all of us, for an ending.
Written at 11:22 at night, in my office, in Agoura Hills CA.