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Something inside is starting to give, a deep sort of opening without words. A sadness and a letting go. And maybe that space is making some room for something else to come on in. On my evening travels I walk past a black cat strewn across the back of a couch who peers out a picture window and gives a lazy nod in my direction. On the next block an orange cat drops his head and rubs the side of his face across my shoe, his body curls around my calf. I hear a woman talking with a heavy southern draw, and notice there’s a TV on in the next room, and one in the basement, but I can only hear her voice through the closed kitchen windows at the back of the house. An ordinary life in an ordinary night. These are the words I write in my head in between my breaths.

At home, a flash in the dark kitchen startles me, reflecting white off the pans where lentils and quinoa simmer. Across the street a man photographs the earth, the view blocked by a fence and shrubs and rise in grade, while another steps in and out of the way. A white sheet flutters in their hands. One of the men is in all black, the porch light catching small flecks of the shiny material of his jacket, his latex gloves highlights among his dark mass and the night. The back of a truck opens, wheels scrape across the street, and the crinkle of thick plastic hovers over the city sounds of planes and bikes and people on their way out. I light a candle. And incense. And on my couch with the window open to the cold air, I bear witness to the moving of the body. Concrete to bag to stretcher. Brakes lock in rapid succession. Wheels cross the street. The click of truck doors.

And then I cry.

I don’t remember sleeping, or even thinking, just laying very still and quiet until the cat came in at 2:30 am and I let him out.

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