Tortellini Face, A Poem by Chris Russell

Whenever I see someone walking a dog down the street

my face turns into a Tortellini and I start to feel like

I’m 9 again and about to protect an insecure kid

from being punched in the back by a future crack addict

bully on the playground.

I think this might have something to do with the fact that

my father, when he was alive, paid more attention to his dogs

than to me, and now whenever I see one with an owner

I get jealous and secretly think they should be walking and

petting me.

Add to this soft serve spiraling pile of disgust that they make

leashes for kids nowadays, and it shouldn’t be a canned

surprise that upon seeing a dog, or any pet, a part of me

gets ready to bark, and drag his backside across the carpet.

From the driveway nobody sets a foot inside, I lift my little

asshole, Tortellini-faced snout into the air and yell at the

world for not noticing that I’m here.