Once I had a dog named Carl.
He licked my face. He smelled
like bread. No, most of the time,
he smelled like mop-water.
He didn’t lick my face. His name
wasn’t Carl. I had a dog once
but his name was Jeff. His name
was Maurice. He smelled like bread
but he wasn’t a he. She was
a pomeranian. She was a long-haired
chihuahua & she smelled like
women’s shampoo. I washed her
with women’s shampoo. No,
I washed her with soap. I didn’t
wash her enough & sometimes
she got fleas. Her name was Daphne.
Her name was Foxy. I had a dog once
but she wasn’t a dog. She looked like
a mop. She moved like a ghost.
She sometimes sighed & liked
to sleep. Once I had a dog but like all dogs
she died. She became a ghost
& snuffled around the house. Sometimes
at night I could hear her sigh.
I didn’t miss her because I didn’t need
to miss her. I’m not lying
because I don’t need to lie.
Patrick Kindig is assistant professor of English at Tarleton State University. He is the author of the chapbook ‘all the catholic gods’ (Seven Kitchens Press 2019) and the micro-chapbook ‘Dry Spell’ (Porkbelly Press 2016) as well as the academic monograph ‘Fascination: Trance, Enchantment, and American Modernity’ (Louisiana State University Press 2022). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, the Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Washington Square Review, Copper Nickel, and other journals.
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