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About the Dog

March 8, 2013

Trying to pull myself up,
and so I think about the dog
and how she can never be more than four feet away from me
without wrinkling her orange brow in despair.
I understand how she feels.
She must have a weight on her chest,
like water.
She startles easily at loud noises
and loud thoughts.
She sniffs the ground when we walk,
brushing her nose over twigs and detritus.
Then, she looks as if she is smiling.
At night, she sleeps warmly at the foot of our bed
because we love her.
Think, dog, of those who love you.
But they are not here.
And so she chews a hole through her crate,
leaving behind only four teeth in her bleeding mouth.
And me,
I am gnawing too,
at the insides of my mouth,
my heart, my stomach.
Because I have wrapped myself in fear
when there’s nothing
to be afraid of.
And so I think about the dog
as she sits by my chair,
our feet almost touching.

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