I leave the ashes in Greenville
but he comes anyways,
drags his stiff back legs into my room
at night, panting. His fur dusty and gray
his eyes glassy, critical.
The heat is too much for you here
I reason, and he adjusts his front legs,
lifting one, then the other, back
and forth. He watches the grackles, bored,
the morning rising slow and clouded.
He rests his chin on the floor
watching as I roll in my sheets,
listing all the places I didn’t bring him.
He yawns, shuffles his backside.
You were supposed to be a tree
I tell him, looking for the sun
through the window.
I was supposed to plant you.