This blasted landscape of my life has left me
longing not for death but simply ending
for longer than I can remember. I have wished
just to stop for what is longer
than my daughter’s whole life,
and she has been an adult for years.
I cannot escape while there are lives
that love mine.
Forgiveness is a thing I have asked for
too many times.
How right can it be
what kind of god is merciful
to make me live for so long–
to have me raise the dogs that pull the sled
while this black one rests on me
its massive paws on my shoulders
unending in its pressure
–when I would rather curl under the earth,
pull the dirt over me
and lay it down against me
like a perfect blanket,
to swallow me
(its scent on my tongue, and mine on its)
and let me become
something unconcerned with beauty,
happy with the end of survival.