In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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This is what we are given:
soap and bees and dark tea,
coyotes calling on August nights,
milk and mist and the amazing nub
of a brown nipple that stands up
when it gets cold, the subtle smell
of earthworms tunneling soil, eating dirt.
This is enough
and still there is more.
Today I saw the black face
of a dog lean out of a truck window
to sniff the air, his pink tongue flapping
in the wind, and I knew he could taste the sun,
the snowmelt, the early gnats and pollens,
his nostrils swelling with the cool silver scent
of car bumpers, grocery bags filled
with sweet yellow peppers and deep red meat,
even the lushness of a single shoestring, mine,
dragged down damp streets and along ripe forest paths.
The dog seemed satisfied,
his body pure contentment
beyond gratitude, which, like grief,
I don’t know where that black-faced dog
is now. But the sun is smearing its white light
over us as it does every day, and tonight
the cold moon, as always, will turn
its blistered cheek toward us whether we see it
or not, and all of this is enough.