Here, this darker map of sand. Piss

and otherwise. There, your steel bowls—

water and dry food. The tarp

blocks the sun’s worst,


but you keep to the shadows

of your house. You’re a brooder—

no pacing, no bark, bite indeterminate.

From dark oblong of doorway,


yellow eyes give away nothing.

Sometimes you emerge, pad across

cage to watch the children

howling and wild. No tail wag,


no expectation, perhaps a longing

forgotten. Shepherd, pastor alemán.

Your master whistles past,

garden artichokes, sheets fresh off the line,


passes two fingers through links

for a quick scratch of forehead

and thick fur. From the balcony

of the ancient farmhouse, between


hills a tease of glowing sea,

blue promise. You can’t see that from

here, where days are numbered.


Gaylord Brewer

Gaylord Brewer is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, where he founded and for more than 20 years edited the journal Poems & Plays. His most recent book is the cookbook-memoir The Poet’s Guide to Food, Drink, & Desire (Stephen F. Austin, 2015). His tenth collection of poetry, The Feral Condition, is forthcoming from Negative Capability Press.

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