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dying

Death of a Cat


Little beast on the metal table, she took
the needle into her forepaw 

and didn’t flinch. The medicinal death
fit itself inside her, ran the blue and red map,

burned up into her lungs and brain
and heart, which slowed,

and she slept until there was no breath left
and her body emptied itself of air.

R. Wesley/Getty

Pain

My father was never one to complain. On the morning of the day he died, an ulcer he’d suffered from for years, and left untreated, ruptured and began to bleed. Two days later I met with the town coroner. He told me the end had been painless, that, as his life leached away, my father would only have felt increasingly weak and light-​headed. The coroner, trying to make me feel better, was lying.