Issue 155, Summer 2000
He begins to notice how all his single friends have dogs
And,wear expensive running shoes, how their
To deep metaphysical questions that didn't exist before 1983.
Chance encounters in coffee shops near the university.
Driving home alone in the late afternoon. Solicitous
As always, it's the transitions he's lost track of. That was then,
This is now. Like a goof, he wonders what will happen next.
But it won't be news. Even the dog owners know this. They,
More than anyone, experience anxiety as a force of nature.
Their loopy descriptions of it, like cosmological treatises on
Inevitably, the dog has been saved from a dark fate at the
There have been broadly comical evenings of obedience
At the local park, doggie surgery to correct a hip, cataracts,
On a whim, he buys a ticket north to catch a genuine
On a fluke, there's a cabin vacant at creekside. But it rains
And the promise of color turns dull and soggy, like, he
The whole idea was to begin with. He leaves early to return
And decides to stop at a roadhouse with barn-brown siding.
Beer glass on a little round table that wobbles, the sound of
Country-western music, and highway traffic. He'd vomit,
but it would seem so
Theatrical, here, in this place, far from any life he ever
Would believe such a story? He happens to look down at
his shoes, which
Seem shyly to comfort one another, his sturdy footwear,
leather to leather.
Outside the window, the rain has stopped, the eaves keep
The glossy-wet macadam reflects the sad, tawdry lights of
this little dive.