by Donna J. Long
The market square is shuttered, empty
but for the dogs standing around, barely
glancing at us as we leave to catch
a six a.m. bus at the crossroads. In Tulum
the dogs are quiet — they don’t waste
their energy to bark. One dog stretches
across the walk, another mongrel worn
by starvation, worms, disease. Lisa coos,
thinking it asleep, but I remember this
stillness after my mother’s last breath.
It isn’t seeing the lungs rise and fall, eyes
open and close, but the subtle vibration
of cells life requires. And then it stops.
The dog was dead. We caught our bus.