This morning the dog
peeled back her short-haired underbelly
to reveal a giant S. No zipper, no stitching
no sexy pull like a stripper losing magic pants
just an opening up—think first date, third beer
the time of night when details float from the cup
of a stranger’s open mouth
as moths circle a bare bulb.
So, the dog. Have you had your suspicions?
Best friend, loyal companion. Just pet your dog,
the martial arts instructor said. He was from Hawaii
wore flowered shirts, sandals. He had toes the color
of dark lager—five of them could kill you with one swift strike.
The dog. Superhero? Black and white mutt,
part Collie, herding me day after day in circles,
always leading me home.
Would she save me from a burning building?
Swoop in at the right moment
to spirit me away from the man—he seemed pleasant enough–
about to kidnap/maim/violate her hapless human?
I’ve never called her a bitch, though she wears
a pink collar, has the scar proving she could have been
a mother, if the universe hadn’t had other plans for her.
It’s all been done before, I tell her. Keep your power
to yourself. Lesson one for lonely women
and superheroes: Never reveal your true identity.
I really enjoyed this poem. So many parts of it spoke to me. My dog is a superhero to me and even at only five pounds I know she would do anything for me. Great piece!
Your first two stanzas are wonderfully fluid and lush, with a delightful rat-a-tat-tat rhythm.
the second stanza is a poem all its own! (ahh, remember first dates? … oh. i’m off-topic. sorry. coming back.)
and she would save you from the burning building.
and she would spirit you away from the man (i don’t know if you need the last line in that stanza, by the way. a lot is implied by the fact that there’s something to be spirited away from.) i really like the “aside” — he seemed pleasant enough.
I love all the descriptions–so vivid. I love the stanza about the martial arts instructor: his toes the color of dark lager.