I detoured to my apartment tonight,
Now big red tents,
Black patches, green compartments,
Spotlights humming.

Maybe yearning drew me
To the place I once barricaded,
Glued to my bed,
Eyes on the boarded window,
Like outside was bombing.

Only three men
In baggy, yellow suits,
Prepped for war,
Could send me skittering.

And there I was,
Newly enlightened,
Waiting to return.


I think she smiles shamelessly,
Tongue dangling over bright grass
And old stumps.

She reaches her prized ball,
Gathers it in her jaws,
And turns to find me
Back where her journey began.

I fake a smile, masking my guilt:
Eons of breeding— the
Ancestral science of
Commodification in her Deoxyribo-
Nucleic Acid. The gap between
Her and the natural wild.
The world that didn’t love her kind
As predators. I can’t help
Anxiety over her ball-retriever condition
As something I enjoy but do not comprehend the circumstances of…

She arrives,
Drops the ball,
And looks up.