i was about 8 when willie, named after the country singer, was put down. he had turned on mom, sank his teeth into her forearm, which to this day is still bestowed with scars. the next night, refusing my own bed, i slept in his (a cream colored fleece mat), cradling his chew bone. dad figured the remedy to my first bereavement was to rid the house of any trace of our dog, so mat and bone and collar etc. were laid with the trash at the end of the driveway.
i’ve thrown out your purple yoga mat, your books, your hair dryer, your maple syrup. this morning i found one of your long, black, errant hairs under the bedsheets. got rid of that too.