Dog through the window– charcoal snow
and peanut-speckle brushstrokes– I watch you
served by our server on the patio under
Azorean’s white umbrella. If only I could be
of service to a creature so brown-eyed and sacred.
I want to be good, too, and melt the heart of people
I encounter. But I am out of it– I still feel new here
and spend my workweeks isolated and curious
for the world I miss around me, its strangers
a wild pack wandering the streets, searching
for any scent that spells joy. How mine smells of cinnamon
blocked by endless windows overlooking a sea of blue
recycling trucks inside a sharp metal fence, and– even now–
I peer through glass, smelting, as our server rubs your head,
as passers-by smile as they go wherever they must go.
I want to be unleashed, too– to put both knees on
concrete, pet the fur between your ears, and
inhale, together, Saturday’s shared freedom.
(originally published in Hello America, Fall 2019)