Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

that embittered dog—tugging

the leash loosed
my mind’s vacancy stumbled along
tugged & a little bloody kneed
this is the blundering agony
running wild running
open tonguing imagining itself free

headlong into every avenue
of suffering, the racing rabbit,
a carrot—strange green
the pit of my stomach has
that hollow hunger even after eating

i grabbed hold the leash,
tongue hanging, a twisted choke—
my fingers wrenched & lungs ragged

we stuggle to breathe—

a moment is skinned in panic
the rabbits all running wildly

•patience• is a long lesson

it has a particular uneasy twitch
that must be suffered through

•joy• learning to let go of the tears as i cry

•mildness• despite angers full bite, the satisfying bite denied

•self control• a fragrant smoke rising off its warmth, my skin scorched

•peace• having chewed my knuckles raw, i watch the blood drip from me

•goodness• the bile of my mind is disintigrating the last hard bits

•faith• all those rabbits running by—i sit, quiet, alert, eyes to the sky

•meekness• tongue bit between my teeth until the taste of tin is sweet

•love• i set my soul in an unmarked grave

the dog at my feet, flinches,
chasing a rabbit
but only
in its dreams

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