Cat stretched chest to belly,
one paw tenterhooks on my throat.
I am contained, so I just lie here.
I don’t need to move. I’m sixty-nine,
not seven, sent to bed at dusk, to get used
to school. Late summer, nothing ends.
I can simply be aware, know my being
as when I lay at the beach, Baja, sand tickling
my arms, my face, water rising, tumbling free.

My dad to me is me to my cat, loving me
without wanting anything. I stroke her, listen.
The sky frames everything. I breathe.
A wave lifts perfectly in my room.    

I am not afraid. This is my life.
I am already worthy, so why cry in relief?
Water colors edge a cliff into presence,
witness ocean, Los Alisitos. I could walk
to the spring. Another day, I will.
Today we are unhurried, My father’s pipe
is a spring for him, the sound of air around his teeth.
We reach it from the shed out back. He paints,
I watch the world emerge. I rest.
My striped cat is not part of me.