Monday, October 01, 2018


Charles Soule, Jr., "Boy with Dog," 1860-65

I'd imagined she’d been called far worse names
than bitch, the biting curses almost forgotten
now. She was with him, she was for him, his
protection from loneliness, the depredations
of his living rough, broken—spine skewed, skin
inked over, blurry mementos of his other lives.
(The tie that binds is sometimes a frayed rope
loosely tied around a neck, as worn and soft as
his gaze towards her, how softly he’d spoken.)
Her name was Chevelle Marie, and I thought
she might’ve been named for the last finest
joy he’d known—a car, a girl—a boyhood lost
and found in a dark gray blocky pit-bull. (I told
her she was pretty; she wriggled all over with
delight.) Chevelle Marie was a good dog; she’d
listen, then lead him out of Hades if she could.