The Sleeping Dog


There is the yard, emptied,
squared by his feet. Old points
bleaching beside the gleaming
clay of his dung. And the
grass, with its sweetness: all
are ghosts, tamed blurs
within his body, in nerveless
days, blunt and meek. He has
learnt to live behind his
eyes, roaming not even
to the wild edge limits
of his skin.

But asleep,
he guards a wilderness
of mounted scents, bitches on heat,
some red nights lurches alert
deep in a wolfing eye
the void stirring, the packs crush
into the slathered flesh
old memories of death.
And his teeth bare savagely,
threads of spittle fly as he
tears out the shrill
throats trespassing.

And we stare as he wakes,
wondering which it is,
day or dusk that hangs there,
its throat loose.

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