Like the Life of a Dog

The Sleeping Beauty Wolf, Leon Bakst, 1921

[The Sleeping Beauty Wolf, Leon Bakst, 1921]

Like the Life of a Dog (in honor of Baron)

You spend your days in paces through the house engulfed

in human things. Ambulating on the rug, clacking

toenails on the kitchen floor, you’re always hungry.

You pad from chair to bowl to chewing on my bedspread.

You malign yourself, believe that bundled cloth’s a lover.

I chain you by the gate.

You look for other surrogates and yank and choke yourself,

reverberate your barks like hunters’ trumpets

draping up in howls. Your nose and jowls flutter wetly.

You snuffle in the grass, the sidewalk, gutter, lost

in tangled scents of absent prey. You lap at excrement,

your own–it’s still and warm, it’s freshly killed.

Do you want a bone?

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