there were wild black berries and black beetles
both in my palm. the beetles were frantic sugar drunk
on summer fruit. i plucked them off one at a time.
the dog could smell the sweetness, drooled silently.
when i threw down the first beetle, he snatched it before
it hit the ground. i heard the snap of his jaw, imagined
hearing the crunch of exoskeleton.


damn dog

when i wake up there are two small pieces of poop
next to the bottom of the bed. the dog looks at me
looks at the poop looks back at me
presses his ears flat against the sides of his head.

i want to beat the hell out of him right there, where
we sleep. but my boyfriend is still sleeping.
so i take the dog to the street in front of the house
where he is too far from his own shit to understand
the reason behind my heavy hands. his yelps echo
off the other houses, no one steps out to see
what all the fuss is about.

tools for cleaning

i grab the dog’s front paws, lift
him half off the kitchen tile.
we dance to chicken spitting on the burner
and norah jones curling from speakers
like mist. the song ends and the dog’s patience
along with it. he returns to vacuuming
the floor with his mouth. my mouth
has never worked well as a tool for cleaning.
i keep dancing in the silence
between tracks. the album toys with my body
like a wicked lover. the chicken burns.