This Will Be the Last Time

the cat lies on my lap while my father
is still alive. No use forgiving
rock for being rock or white clouds
always passing over or even
wind, its restless blow, but I can forgive
prayer and those bastard children

next door who never shut up. Forgive
the birds, their raucous cry before dawn,
the darkness for its darkness, black
for the absence it signifies. Bone and blood
and all defective genes, the doctor
who missed the diagnosis. And yes,

I must forgive time, my weakening heart,
forgive all the flowers that never last.
While the cat, resolved
or unresolved, sleeps on,
the last monk has left the temple door open.