The little cartoon Z’s above my head,
I’m about to fall asleep, to climb
them well beyond the borders
of my cartoon cloud, when I hear
the first horse huff and stamp its foot.
It is the Palomino, Sailor Boy,
dead for twenty years. Then not only horses
but the snails I met in Assisi, so small they climb
the blades of grass. And then the boxer
I carried up steps all her life, all her life
the front right leg never healing.
What is the sun you’ve made of yourself
she asks, and all the animals stand waiting.
With the rile of the calves brought to the slaughterhouses
of my childhood. With the monkeyish cat, leukocytes
amok like mice.