I opened the car door
and he ran across the parking lot
and jumped into the back seat.
“Where have you been?” I asked.
He thumped his great tail, sniffed,
and licked the hand I placed on his shadowy head.
As we drove back home, he thrust his head
between the seats and placed his paw upon my shoulder.
Then he licked my ear and the side of my face.
I pulled into the garage and let him out of the car.
He raced to the end of the drive, surveyed the neighborhood,
and drilled an invisible pee into the snow.
I whistled, and he ran back to the door,
whimpering and scratching, impatient.
I held the door open and he bounded in.
“You’re back home now,” I told him.
He ran to the cat’s bowl and lapped some water,
scoffed her kibble, and lay down in his usual place.
At night, he lies beside me in bed,
a fluffy spoon carved into my body’s curve.
In the morning he walks through the kitchen
and doesn’t make a sound.
The cat senses he’s there and bristles and hisses
at rainbow motes dancing in the sun.
He’s sitting beside me now,
head on my knee, as I type these words,
one-handed, because I’m scratching him
in his favorite spot behind the ear.