icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

(or, to support my work with a small monetary contribution, see the Substack link on the left)

Three Dying Dog Dreams


After I deleted your name
from my phone, I began having dreams
about dogs dying. The first two
were about our family golden retriever.
Somehow in the teleportation of dreams
we were in Paris. I kneeled down
to let her off her leash and she ran off.
I called and called her name but knew
when I rounded the corner I'd find her
dead in the street. And I did. She died
in my arms as passers-by whispered
sympathies in French. I could feel her
body, the blood in her matted fur,
her weight I know from picking her
forelegs up to slow-dance with her
around the kitchen. A few nights later
I dreamt of her dying again. This time
it was some flower she'd eaten
she wasn't supposed to. I forced her
to swallow strange pills of damp,
compressed herbs just in time
to revive her. In relief I embraced her,
her living body warm, her fur bloodless.
But she seemed far away, as if
she hadn't come back from where
she'd gone when her eyes rolled like magic
eight balls in her skull. And then,
just last night, I dreamt of a different dog,
a huge dog I knew somehow
was named Holcomb. He and I,
we were walking along a dark gorge
in the mountains when a storm came up.
The lightning broke its arms trying
to carry the sky. I was afraid. Holcomb,
drenched, dog-smelling, pressed
against me as we walked. I was afraid
he'd push me into the gorge.
Then out of the dark a dozen hounds
came, mouths like bear-traps,
snarling and drooling. I could feel
my heels hanging over the lip of rock.
Holcomb hove into them, but they
were too much for him. I watched them
drag him off bleeding into the dark
and woke wondering what it meant,
three dying dog dreams in three months.
I looked up an interpretation that said
one may dream of dogs when one has lost
a friend. Before we ceased speaking,
I dreamt of you almost every night.
Now, I never do. I dream of dogs dying.
And if you were to call me now,
I wouldn't recognize the number,
and wouldn't answer.
Be the first to comment