Damn Dogs

Robert Hodgkins 2020

Starving 

yard 

dogs 

S T O M P  through the mashed-bone colored dust clouds

dragging their paws of dirt and claws

a trail of rust dripping from their grins

 

A trail that if followed might lead you to their last kill-

a week’s worth of stinking trash and food scraps

 

snap at the sags of folding skin

the most proximate conspecifics with a show of rotting barren, gummy-pink mouths red, 

maybe from gnawing all night at the already stripped and pitted bones 

Suckling the marrow like skeleton straws

the howling is like a wind that carries them

 

The surge behind the wailing betties and damsels that months before mourned their departing lovers with kisses and well wishes, demanding in advance that they will return home soon, and complete

 

Now in high demand is seven weeks worth of fucking, passionate sometimes, even gentle and slow, full of emotion, but mostly rabid

enough to turn any sex-starved sailor to a lump of sweat and fluid flesh too tired from moving and thrashing against their brides and many mistresses

 

Nauseous and sick, still 

rocking their insides against their 

hours 

 

The men are back to their posts 

old men meant for little and with even less to lose are told again

 

But there's something in the sound of the crashing oceans that calls a sailor back to the blossoming bosom of the ocean

 

Something embedded alongside the crystallized salts

because it's a god damn lonely and bare life 

 

You could say that even slow growth is still progress

 

The more twists and turns that you create, the endless tangling and doubling back of nylon threads spliced together to make a sum of strength far more durable in test than every single lonely strand,

 

Well, that's how you make a really fucking strong knot

 

By the end, you have something strong, sturdy

a foundation you can rest upon with certainty

and bound from deadfalls and cliffs miles above safety with

not a slip in either or each twist of it

From here you know where to go next

and looking up at the lifeline you've strung yourself upon, 

you know directly from where you've come from, been, 

 

whatever.

Photo: ’Brigitte Niedermair: Me and Fashion 1996-2018