Dog

After Bella

In truth, I know nothing
of her secret or public life.

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She is flesh, a body carrying
blood, a tight pelt of skin,
the mapping of bones,
and the nervy jittery pulsing
of organs, a panting mouth,
a tongue, a small sack
of the same complex 
and rot that makes up
my constantly betraying self.

I know that when I lift
her, tuck her to my chest,
she slowly settles, pushing
back as if she expects
to remain intact after
I have put her down 
to scamper off. 

Anything else I may know
is a hopeless projection of me,
the limits of what I know.

Maybe this is all we know
of each other as we meet,
sniffing the air for the scent 
of decay or the other thing 
that is not indifference 
nor the resignation
we pray will calm us now
at the hour of our death.

a body carrying / blood, a tight pelt of skin, / the mapping of bones

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