A Veterinary Suicide

You died like a sick animal
for reasons which the average heart
will barely understand

How often before had you 
hooked up a drip feed similar to this,
or pushed a hypodermic
through a thicker skin than yours
to give unknown relief to feral pain?

Did you think yourself unsuited,
and with human contact down,
have only lethal hope to hand,
to take the conscious step
that marks us out as otherwise?

As much as I know, I know of this
through the grief of mutual friends,
and can but wonder, and regret,
where some distinction touches me,
your death in a chosen captivity

A coursed hare heart
that ran too rare and fast
for what you thought could cure,
to break itself in fall and twist
and leave you with no way between 
the stretch of yearning for the wild,
the ruthless logic of despair,
the calculated choice

So death, which in us makes
the animal apparent,
defines in you the human
and intervenes as paradox:
the magical and obvious,
the instinctive and the planned;
and the aching disappointment
of the shadows in between

In this dazzle 
of vicarious bereavement
I lose myself, 
not knowing what to say,
but shedding skins 
of difference hope 
that in oblivion or bliss
your animal heart
and human mind
rest in equilibrium,
lie undisturbed, and free 

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