For Marilyn Sunderman (who passed on 12/8/99)
Yellow, yellow, yellow,
someone walks in peripheral vision.
I drag the chain of your words behind me,
little ifs, jaguars, Paris, the Valley Inn Motel,
the room that will never hold you.
It isn't fair you said
to never have the second dance.
Before his death in New York City
Reynaldo Arenas ate dirt and grew one last rose.
Before you left I bought a pink satin mouse,
tied it to a yellow rope,
watched Clarita jump for hours,
an indoor cat, who didn't know the chase,
the smell and taste of a real kill.
It isn't fair you said.
I drink all of your Merlot,
try to imagine radiation, chemo therapy,
tearing the head off a mouse with my teeth.
From an upstairs window, I stare
wondering what it would be
to live near the sky
and in a nest.