Of My Fictions

The immortal dogs of my fictions,
exhausted from centuries of fetch,
are laid out in puddles of sun

or rummaging for slugs
in the banks of soggy leaves.

It is autumn, and the air
is a bakery of dander and pollen.

It is autumn, and the immortal
dogs of my fictions are sniffing
and digging for ancient wisdoms.

In the bulges of mulch, in the
outstretched hands of children,

there is something I cannot know.

And in the oiled rotation of their
immortal hips, in these unspoiled
brindles and chocolates and merles,

I find a spot to scratch
and I scratch that spot forever.

Perhaps if I am kind, one will whimper
by my grave one day, in the shadow
of that eroding masonry, my epitaph
chiseled in the language of dogs.

Freed of leash and muzzle,
with rage and jubilation,

the immortal dogs of my fictions
hunt for squirrels and hummingbirds.

And if they’re feeling any pain,
I don’t know how I’d know,
but I like to think I would.

This poem was originally published in Issue 159 of TriQuarterly.