Michael Vick is Still Apologizing Somewhere for Abusing Dogs

Iliana Rocha

Her lungs, the green tarps covering

                        abandoned buildings swallowed

& then spit out by the flood, Houston’s

                        unsympathetic hurricane. I didn’t toss

a dollar into a guitar case for the man

                        serenading the chapel’s ghosts because

what have I ever given except love’s

                        less than? His Beatles cover whirled

in me like a chihuahua thrown against

                        a wall that can run only in circles.

My body, a guitar ripped of its frame

                        & filled with dough, Vanilla’s the only

one to see me naked in over a year,

                        thighs that can’t get enough of each

other that they burn through denim

                        in order to touch. Michael Vick paid

someone $100 to dig two graves for dogs,

                        but that person refused to bury them, & I

hope for half that much mercy. I picture

                        my head in a bucket of water. My neck

in between nylon cord attached to a 2x4

                        because we’ve used up what’s left of our good.

This was supposed to be a love poem,

                        but what I’ve learned is that in the backside

of love’s hands are violences, just open up

                        Nilla’s mouth & count them. When he goes

to rest his hand on my shoulder, she

                        charges & barks & screams until she knows

I’m safe. No one else has done this

                        unless I’ve asked, not even my own body.


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