by Kevin Denelsbeck - [email protected] 

I saw Mopsy and Lucy last night,
they died earlier this year. They
were healthier than I had last remembered,
their black fur unmatted, their tails in furious
swishes, their paws scratching at my legs. Jason the
Russian Blue sauntered out then, ignoring the dogs he'd
never met, offered his courtly head for a rub, his limbs
no longer arthritic. Mopsy and Lucy distracted themselves
into one of their infamous growl-yip playfights, leaving room
for Pity, the mysterious white cat from Jason's era, to pass by
to the kitchen. Vickie the beagle, a real old-timer, galloped in
next, her eyes afire like she'd seen a rabbit, running towards me
the way she used to tease us at the bus stop. Jason tapped her nose
with a paw and she veered off under the library table. A good
thing, too, for Bub the Great Pyrenees, the great white dog
who had to stay outside in a run most of his life, rumbled
in, his old pal Gabby Whiskers the miniature schnauzer
nipping at his heels like always. They disappeared
into the hallway. Finally, Butters, the butter-
colored tabby, jumped up on a nearby chair and
lovingly butted my head with his. It was so
good to see him spry and limber, his leg no
longer broken and twisted from that unseen
car, his eyes squinted in the pleasure of
touch, not the agony of evisceration.
I rubbed his back and felt it arch
and then he leapt away and went
off on some mission behind the
sofa. And before the petless
room winked out, I knew that
all my old friends, so new
and perfectly-remembered
here, were no longer
dead, but only

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