Digging out the widow’s basement
they broke through the roof
of a Victorian river. Ben said
the water was writing things as it flowed down the curb,
like get back, both of you, and do you have that in a larger size?
I went up to get a look in the afternoon, it was
muttering along. If you are nature’s gift, you don’t need
to say much. Still, it would have been nice
to have an uplifting miracle. Later
people started tossing leaves in it and someone
closed its Twitter account. This all happened
in the early fall, then people forgot about it.
But in the winter the ice thickened on the sidewalk there
and you could see a line or two. I had to get the scraper from the car
and scuff out It wasn’t me.
Dog of my middle age
Black and white and isolate
his feeling dumbplay convinces me
there are soullike things in creatures.
In birds and slugs and politicians,
in fathers and largemouth bass.
Grey furze along the jaw of his inhuman face
stares up warily from the kitchen floor.
All his fears inhabit him. The twitch in his leg
of readiness. I touch him and his face falls along its bone.
Animal, his eyes say, you are one of me.