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POEM WITHOUT THE WORD "BONE"

My dog chews holes in cotton socks,
drags them around each room
like dead mice, stops in the kitchen
to reveal my role in his hunger.

The dog never likes what I feed him,
looks at me expecting something long
and dark, lean and chewy, maybe rib
or femur, in portions only the wealthy serve.
Instead, I divide pasta between two bowls.
He stares as if looking for marrow,
eats it anyway, snarls at my ankles
to let me know he's not willing to forgive.

We don't often share food but we do share
ailments: each an eye that never opens,
each a leg dragged limp to bring
someone close enough to suffer a nip.

Meanwhile we make do with minor crimes
to make every day a complete day.
He dreams of cattle driven to slaughter.
I undress the woman from across the street.

Most days it's simply enough to outwit
darkness and howl at the heavy moon.

      — Larry L. Fontenot