On the Anniversary of Your Death   

It’s 2 am and I awake to the crack of snow  
                     towards the back door rattling,  

I mistake it for you  
returning home from the night shift   
raccoons crown themselves with our trashcan
                                                                lids, moon- 
eyes reflecting  
                       the only light left, as they dig  

this bed we shared  
                             with our cat, sole cradling  
in the rumble  
of her fur belly, a small  
last solace—  

I cannot risk cold floors  
                                       creak underfoot  
my bones heavy  
                            calculating cost  
of collusion  
in this             tintinnabular prowl of bandits  
calling me to  
                unmask them.  

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