Canis Vale

The eyes of a dog gaze in judgment
at the bizarre actions of humans:
We don’t care much for the smell of roadside pee,
and we rarely dip our face into a bowl.

Dogs will serve us
without knowing why we ask.
Disengaged from a way of life
they only know in their DNA,
neurotic and spoiled and possessed
of an eager love that puts us to shame,
surely they wonder what we’re up to.

If I were a dog I would look at the labors of humans
and be sorely confused.
The meager merits of commuting, laid against
the pleasures of laying on a rock in the sun,
close that argument before it begins.

I would acknowledge the care and the food humans give,
the petting and the staring at that
lap-creating substitute sun humans call TV.
But when thunder struck,
I would stand on four legs,
shaking and desperate for a face to lick.
I could not handle rejection then,
no matter how strong and barkish I might seem.

But I am not a dog,
and as to whether I am human,
there is no Cro-Magnon left to judge,
only this poor dog,
looking up at me with prehistoric eyes,
wondering when I’ll stop being so silly about work,
and stop and sniff a passing ass.

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