Originally posted 9/22/2012.
The pup comes right up to my nose.
When I look him in the eye and say
shushumsmooshumnomnomnom pretty puppy,
I realize I’m actually praying, saying
I recall you stealing meat from my fire
when you were hungry,
when you were young and alone.
Roll over on my back and let the pup
drown me with his face, his wash, his tongue.
I laugh and gurgle through it.
The pup turns
his belly to the air.
I am saying
I recall you barking, I recall
my understanding of the nuances,
the rough snap of those calls. So much has changed.
There is a book that calls this “dominion.” Another
that calls you “unclean,” another that calls for you
to be skinned and boiled and eaten as a delicacy.
Pup, you don’t have a book, do you? That’s a shame.
I want to know what you think of us
beyond the easy slurp gospel you’re preaching
now that you’re pure wag, unfiltered unspeakable joy.
Shushumsmooshumnomnomnom, who’s a good dog?
That is what the wind says when it whistles
around the throne of heaven.