Blue veins rising in my hands
like so much plumbing. Feeling merely
mortal, I’ve seen dog hair matted
in margins of our bathroom tile
as though for the first time, as though
it were someone else’s brief.
I’ve taken a dog’s worth off the dryer’s net,
made myself a beard, if only in mind.
And caught in my canine beard, this barking:
joint language of dog and human tongues.
Tongue is lengua; lengua is a word for meat
my father had to talk me into trying.
Children, so sure what not to eat,
will stick their fingers into anything.
What do Z’s kids have that mine don’t,
except bodies, souls? My once-was
wasn’t ever fully here
— mist of a whisper, breath
you make appear on frigid glass.
The breath you make.
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