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dog clock


I want to shake you like a criminal:
when we could be so happy happy,
oh, why why do these things you do?
Why count my every not-you syllable,
deem every time I nurse my babies
as time I could have spent with you?

You who are as motherless
as I, as longing to be rocked—
How can’t I know you? How do I
evade this empathy, suppress
lactation, hold my will intact,
once startled by your tragedy?

But, sometime, I should wash my face.
And, sometime, I should write this book.
When I go out, my dog knows I’ll
Be back. He doesn’t fret and pace
With one eye on the dawdling clock.
He lets me go. (It took a while.)