I decided to make myself a cheese sandwich.
I was not good at slicing. I didn’t possess the ability
to make wise judgments on the amount of cheese needed,
and was unable to cut straight.
The sandwich was a failure. The cheese slice was a wedge—
with one end an inch and half thick, the other paper-thin.
Not wanting the failure to be seen by my sister or parents,
I fed the cheese to my dog Rosie.
I don’t know if it was the cheese,
but later that afternoon we found Rosie
dead under the rhododendron bush
in the back yard. I cried till I shook.
My nose was a fountain of mucous. My sides ached.
Each tear was a bowel movement.
There are few griefs heavier than a ten-year-old’s
after their first dog’s death.
For months the thought-bubble above my bed
contained a stubby, orange corgi sprawled out
motionless. I made my pleas to God.
No weight of feeling made them potent.
I wondered if I’d ever stop crying,
if I’d ever fall asleep
thinking of something else.
If the picture of my dog would ever blur.
I don’t know if it was gradual, or if I just woke up
one day feeling better, but I stopped crying.
The Mariners went to the playoffs, and I fell asleep
thinking about Ken Griffey Jr, and Edgar Martinez.
Thoughts of Rosie became distanced from one another,
details atrophied. Now, when I think of her
all I see is an out-of-focus dog-shaped creamcicle.
But I still think of her.