If I were a dog, I’d be your dog.
Not a lap dog—I’m tired of being small—
but just to please you, I’d be blonde
like Ginger Rogers (how we love
to watch her dance with Fred Astaire).
I’d dance too—up on my hind legs
without those high-heel shoes, my front paws
on your shoulders, we’d dip and twirl,
my nails clicking between the fridge and stove,
lips curled back in a big doggy grin.
Every morning, I’d chew your slippers,
not to be bad, but to get the taste of you
down deep; I’d slop my tongue in both your ears,
touch your skin with my nose—cold and wet
below your navel—how you’d jump! Oh,
I’d fetch for you, I’d roll over
when you whistled I’d come
and come, my mouth drooling. I’d bark
some poems for you, I’d dig a hole
big enough to bury everything you needed to.
I’d raise my tail, I’d do that doggy thing
that all dogs do,
if I were a dog,
oh, what I could smell! A whiff of your breath
and I’d know who you’d kissed
and who you’d wanted to. No matter
what the moon, I’d howl for you, I’d bite
the mailman if the news was bad, I’d bite
your two ex-wives, your aging children, I’d bite
the cop who was rude, the woman in the bakery
who sold you day-old bread as new. I’d bite you.
I’d piss in the corners, I’d guard that part of you
you wanted no one else to rummage through,
if I were your dog
I’d lick your face until it was spittled new
and you were a boy again,
running the Okanagan hills, all blue, the moon
a knuckle bone I’d crack between my teeth,
a marrow bone I’d suck dry for you. Oh,
I’d be a tough dog, a garbage dog, a mean dog,
a bitch, I’d yank the leash, I’d leap the fence,
I’d tongue your soft Italian shoes, but baby,
if I were your dog, I’d even play dead,
I’d play dead for you.
Published On: February 14, 2008
Permanent Location: http://www.forgetmagazine.com/080214p.htm