Once squeezed into the four inches under the armoire; once
Small as a hand; once nearly
Fictitious, mischievous, self-permitting, round and
Filled tight with worms.
Now my friend, not shadow, but gone --
Off in the distance tail flying, arc a streamer, reminder, smudge;
A gay tail they call it, proving bad for work but good for black dog.
She has a smile. She eats her oatmeal with meat and greens.
She draws the world in bounds and springs,
Rounding back, finally, territory covered, miles understood.
Then later she sleeps once more, while overhead beyond the couch
We spy silver planes now changed to lines of light in the dark.
They move distantly past a thin curved moon
Not unlike a gay tail flung in biologic joy over the back of black
Dog, black dog who is here at this moment
Far from me but closer than you know.
[R.I.P. Mercy my love]