Exhalation of doglike warm sea air
with hints of what's rotting in you, wrapped
in fur laziness with doggy smell and teeth,
destroyer of worlds and work,
best friend and worst enemy.
Pain comes in on puppy paws,
carried in the cage of scimitar claws,
snarling, eye-twitch, Let slip the dogs of war?
Loving lick on cheek
or canines crunching carotid?
How does human taste,
mahogany, hints of iron-rich vermilion
distilled echoes of asparagus,
bouquets of perspiration, a sprinkling
of aluminum, tubed on, mass-produced?
Clasped in dog's white teeth, the fledgling
a ball of moist feathers, saliva-wet warm muck,
pink flesh like plucked chicken in cellophane
limp like canned asparagus
Light brown hairs of dog shed
innumerable like evening stars
twinkling on the indigo of my shirt
hair of the dog that bit me must taste
just like the hair of the dog that licked me.
Dogged, on haunches,
stretching updog and downdog
determined to have its day,
sleep on the floor and wake up with fleas,
whimpering, scratching out madness
bringing the dog to heel, or to hell.
The dog days of summer, dazed
heat a heavy blanket of panting fur,
gnats hum and swirl, satellites
of aqueous humor, too fast
and flimsy to swat
About the poet: Kimberly L. Wright's poetry has recently appeared in digital and print literary journals such as The Southeast Review online, Blood Lotus Journal, and UCity Review, and is upcoming in Eunoia Review.
Raised in Mobile, AL, Wright graduated from the University of South Alabama. She has lived in the Montgomery area for more than a decade. She is available on Twitter @klwright73.