The spider by the woodpile was the size of a magician’s hand and moved as quickly out of view. How wild it was when you went outside! Life or death! All the bushes and trees hanging on for dear life. Our cat brought a baby rabbit inside and I managed to separate them so it could escape but it left blood on the floor and part of its guts and I thought about it dying slowly in the heat and it sickened me. And the following morning it was on the sidewalk, she’d taken the head, and I debated burial or putting it out for the crows, but favored the tidy option (the compost bin) and used a plastic bag they deliver the newspaper in and went back inside feeling a universal sadness, feeling distinctly American too, so removed. The cat lay on the patio stretched out like a pornstar, like a Roman senator waiting for someone to rub his feet or feed him grapes. And later curled up beside me in bed. And I slipped off to some faraway sleep forgetting what day it was, then started the same pattern again in the morning. The coffeemaker, the phone, the weather. The days losing light. Out beyond the trees the angle of the sun changing slowly. People starving on the streets. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs wrapped in plastic. Starbucks. Me getting older, feeling more removed.
I took a hot shower then napped. Thought, I’m just like that cat. Our whole country is, in fact.