After Dorianne Laux
Canus lupus familiaris, descended
from the gray wolf. Predators
& scavengers, pack hunters
with complex body language,
fused wristbones & tearing teeth.
Man's best friend. Bred to hunt
& herd, stand guard & carry burdens.
Crucified in ancient Rome,
slaughtered in Malta, flayed alive
in London to show how our blood
moves. Conditioned by Pavlov
to drool on cue, sent into space,
blinded for research & better cosmetics.
The only animal that can follow
finger-points, read human faces.
Curled on laps, against our feet,
in the center of our beds. Offered
organic food, spas & cemeteries all
their own. Driven by hunger, will eat
human remains, even of those they love.
Carrie Shipers's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Connecticut Review, New England Review, and North American Review, among other journals. She is the author of two chapbooks, Ghost-Writing (Pudding House, 2007) and Rescue Conditions (Slipstream Press, 2008). Her first full-length collection, Ordinary Mourning, was released by ABZ Press in May 2010.
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