Because She Danced

Yes, the windows have needed replacing for years
(she had said to him a thousand times.)
But she left them, their tenuous existence,
half-reflections seeing to her forgetfulness.
She will remember when you’re
elsewhere, though, you’re sure,
how much she spent on the necessities,
like the fence to keep the dogs
from tearing up the riverbank at Christmas,
decorating their bodies with burrs,
and dance lessons for the girls
because, well, she danced once, too.
She’ll find it difficult to date memory,
the algebra of the two-sided gaze, here
minus but also plus back there.
She’ll know it’s been some time, though,
how she’d go to one,
and how opening made her different,
that for a time it changed her life,
feeling something more come in.

The Average Lifespan of a Dog

Now that I’m a dog, sun cuts to
the quick of memory, my bones gnaw me,
my words, like code, click
the hair-scratched floor.
Now, with fifteen years, less or more,
left, will growls strangle their collusions
with reflections in glass? Will the bite
get a taste for streams of curbs? Perhaps,
it’s time to take the man, chained inside,
to the trail that runs behind the house,
where light outlines the wind-thinned
limbs of trees, some beautiful cage.
My life’s run-down the sticks its unleashed,
and its always returned with something else.