In Dog Years

My belly seethes with spit, and he writhes on
the floor, a blackened crutch whipped in trust
and stink, and my head hurts and my ears rip,
I can smell the end is near; rotting soot, bright
canned failure shifting and stunting, his heart
brilliant like lunar landings in vast vacuums
sacked in bread bags, bad gas and lapsed pass,
but it’s the heat that hurts the most, it’s when
I can’t smile, when I can’t reason with the dark,
the last stance and trance I ever had, the battle
at night, in proof and proves, and nothing will
save him, no metered banality nor rancid meat,
no white coat or salty, sweet tear, we were in
this, until the robe closed, until we crash the
party, cast the leg, bash the art, I held him in
the shower, his body for destruction and abso-
lution, when, in what morning, will the creature
lose? I hold on until I can decide for him, one
cough after the next, I transform from wheat to
chaff, to caged bird, to valued soldier, to anger
and deceit, he’ll never know, purity was his life.

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~ by Shawn M. Young on July 18, 2017.

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