after brain surgery
My lint-roller is coated with hair,
white from Gabriel’s belly and neck.
When I lean into the mirror each morning,
nothing can keep him from circling
his halo on my black trouser legs,
from inscribing with the oil of his face
a black stripe along the white bathroom tile.
When I first came home,
I’d feel him patting my cheek as I slept,
right by the incision, his claws withdrawn.
My paw here. My paw lightly resting.
These days when I cook he likes
to slide by in the narrow galley,
his tail tipping against me.
I’m here. Right here.
The way I pat a friend’s shoulder
in a crowd. Hello. I’m here.
Among all these bodies,