What used to be
a rope descending
my vertebrae to the basement
of my spine
In solidarity with my chemotherapy,
our cat leaves her whiskers on
the hardwood floor,
and I gather them, each purewhite parenthesis
and plant them
in the throat of the earth.
I learned to trim your barbarian
hair. Now it stands always on end:
a salute to my superior barbary skills. In the event
of my death, promise you will find my heavy braid
and bury it—
I will need a rope
to let me down into the earth.
I’ve hidden others
strategically around the globe, a net
to catch my body
in its weaving.