Dog

After Bella

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

Advertisement

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

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poetry

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

James Comey is perhaps a better Niebuhrian than Niebuhr himself.
Drew Christiansen, S.J.November 20, 2017
“Not everything that is technically possible or feasible is therefore ethically acceptable.”
Gerard O’ConnellNovember 20, 2017
I have been trying with all my heart—with all my mind, with all my soul, to live peaceably with a terror that has been grafted onto me.
Robert I. CraigNovember 20, 2017
Image: iStock, (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) Composite: America
What ought to be the Ignatian contribution to the fight for racial justice, given our mission and our values?
Bryan N. MassingaleNovember 20, 2017