'I think my girlfriend is starting to suspect,'
I tell Death as we stand together
at the foot of the otter's grave. I am here
on the pretext of laying fresh lilies
out of a continuing guilt at the otter's death,
but in fact Death and I have been meeting
to chat about mortality. His head is like
a novelty ashtray, and, perhaps because of this,
I have taken up smoking. 'We ought to make this
our last meeting,' I say, wincing as I inhale,
'there's only so long she'll believe I'm mourning
an otter.' The wind moans in Death's hollow head.
'All good things, eh?' I try a smile.
Death turns to regard the otter's headstone
with the grating whisper of crepitus.