I sent to fetch a stick my dog.
He brought me a banyan tree.
I sicked him after the moon.
He chewed her up and brought her back.
I cursed him for making the moon all wet.
He came and licked my hand.
I held a morsel of meat in my hand.
He broke my wrist like a stick; the dog,
he had not known my insides wet,
but thought me dry like a tree.
He took my hand around the back
and buried it in the moon.
I searched the craters of the moon,
sent him out to get my hand,
but he could not bring it back,
he’d forgotten it like the stick, this dog,
cocking his leg on the banyan tree
then sniffing his nose where he wet.
My brain is wet and the dog’s is wet,
but though I talk of symbol things, like moon
as woman and branching tree
as growth or possibility, my hand
touches no symbol things and like a dog
the brain atop the spine in my back
censors lightning from my hand and feeds back
only Good Thing Food Thing. This wet
knob of flesh this time says Don’t kill your dog,
Don’t stuff yourself, so I sit down by the moon
with him and howl at the pain that took my hand,
while he howls at the moon that under the tree
robs his dim head not just of fate but the whole tree
of causality, and he howls loudest but won’t look back,
can’t look back, nor forward, just now, and I hand
it to him for that approach, but wet
front lobes are fanciful and soon the moon
sprouts a tiny hand where wet my dog
in this hand-tree I’m gripped by love, a wet-
season fruit that looks back less than the moon,
I’ve still one hand to slap and clap my dog.
First published New England Review, 2005