Jamal’s final days
were painful to watch
and it crossed my mind
more than once
that maybe I should
bite the bullet
and suffocate him, but
euthanasia is not my style.
Instead, I told him I loved him
whenever I had to pass by the cage.
Did this help him or me?
God only knows.
Jamal had a long tail
and spent his short life
tumbling merrily through cedar.
He is survived by his devoted brother,
Krusty, who liked to beat the crap
out of him at 2 a.m. Together,
they ate through two wooden houses
for the sheer joy of chewing.
Krusty was always plumper, stronger.
Near the end, he offered himself
as a brotherly death bed; a warm ratty
comforter, a beating heart.