The summer both Mama and our dog
Had a herniated disk in their lower backs
Both cried in pain and in sympathy.
We talked about death and quality of life
Which didn’t feel so different
There on our kitchen floor.
I sat with my coffee and a book
In the early morning
The dog already in pain
(Not early enough)
My hand resting on his panting head
Not comforting enough.
It is not easy to look into a dog’s eyes
As he is waiting to end.
He aged within three days
The cat stopped by to smell his legs
And for a second I thought they might work again.
We read him stories to let him imagine that they would.
I brought a mattress into the living room
To sleep beside the dog
With our heads resting close
Each breathing in our own animal way.
Freshly painted walls echo
The sounds of thunder inside
A home for others,
Maybe also me.
I am curled, breathing heavy
I am changing, wanting more
I look for movement, wait for sound
Inside this frozen house
I pretend to be home
Ma’am, does your luggage contain any agricultural plant or animal species?
Do my roots count?
My home is a diaspora
No longer “the” diaspora
Because each place is foreign to the other.
(and I am foreign to myself)
I have integrated thoroughly enough into this new territory
That it’s time to confuse myself once more
Let’s dig up those roots again
Home is found in the digging process.
Home is somewhere mid-air by an oval window with some ginger ale and no leg room.
I lost myself in myself,
I didn’t know I had to look.
I lost myself in myself
And made up a map to feel in place.
I lost myself in other people
Thinking they would know the wind.
I lost myself in other people,
I went back home.