Last night, I dreamt my dog died.
At first she just slipped her leash,
and then as I reached to reclip it,
her collar slid off; she became thinner
and I wondered how the collar
didn’t fall off all the time.
I shortened it and tried to pull
her close but couldn’t. As I began
to wake, the weight of living
pressed hard on me again. I knew
she was dying. Her loss rushed me,
along with the loss of grandparents,
friends, parents, my unborn child,
innocence, crowds trudging through
deserts in fathomless heartbreak.
They each took fresh names and spoke
them to me, asking me once more
to grieve, by name. And so I did.