Awake in the dark, again,
I want each looming thing —

night table, dresser, chair —
to set its demons free,

settle for being ordinary.
Beside me, my husband

grinds his teeth,
damned like the rest of us

with the curse of breathing.
What I didn’t understand

on the other side of 40:
despair, too, is something

to hold on to. I’ve got
my dead: a ribbon’s worth

of rabbit-soft gray fur
from the cat who was

my best friend through my 20s,
her name the first word

both my daughters said.
We buried her last winter,

boiling pot after pot of water
for the frozen ground,

trying to dig deep enough.
We did.