In the Light

by Brad Bostian

In the Light

The yellow dog can only shiver now,
Moon-eyed and fur-pitted, burned to the bone.
Barbarians poured acid, those same hands
That keep cutting the woman out of Egypt,
And sending bolts into the animals,
That throw the switch in my America
Just to keep throwing it. One cog catches
The next to make the big machine revolve,
Violence around violence around death
And no stopping. But for the yellow dog,
The well-lit world has closed down to the sound
Of its own lapping, dry nuggets falling
Into a bowl, its nails clipping across
The dark floor of space-time, across a floor
That may or may not lead from the dark world
Into the world of barbarian hands,
And one tender voice, old lady fingers
Clutching with promises, what bones appear
Grinning beyond the darkness now, what light
Does she carry with herself but never share?
That way lies all the dog has left. That way
And beyond, the door filled only with sound,
The steps, the feeling of grass under pads,
The cruelty of imagination,
A kind of quiet shaking in the light

Brad writes: I live in Charlotte with my wife and two dachshunds; my first novel is finally creeping toward its inevitable end; and so is my MFA degree at USC-Columbia, where I had the privilege of studying poetry with the (still I think) irrepressible James Dickey. With my degree in hand, I hope to teach creative writing, somewhere, anywhere, someday.

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