My neighbor’s dog needed love so much

one day it tried to get free of it’s runner,

went after a baby,

and ended up pulling back off it like a whip,

spraining it’s own neck,

the totally oblivious and giggling baby

retrieved from the lawn by the angry parent,

who kicked the Jasper colored dog in the stomach

and told it, it was a bad boy.

I taught a disabled, middle-aged man

how to change the filters in his respirator,

how to go to the bathroom in the toilet

instead of on it,

and how to spray whitewash on shelves,

whatever the undulating self in my sealed up heart

couldn’t let the rest of world know

I was saving myself for.

I didn’t want to have to get to know anybody,

I was hiding,

wanting to believe the raw truths about my life

could be shed

and made to look like a dream again,


through that stuff that gets pushed

to the side of the road

and forgotten,

crawling, chewing

myself underneath the next impossibly heavy

and practically microscopic pebble,

to build a home.

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