Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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All the Songs Are About You and Me and Our Agoraphobic Dog

Because the wind blew east by northeast
when he was born, or because his mother
survived on armadillo carcasses and palmetto
bugs for God knows how long in the North
Florida woods, he’s afraid of the outdoors.
What this means is we’re moved by forces
beyond our control, and now we spoon-feed
our dog feverfew to calm his stomach and muffle
his ears to the sound of the 81 bus, which runs
past our apartment every eighteen minutes,
all night long. This is what love is like, the songs
tell us, and they’re right. It’s not a skyful of dark
delphiniums or the metrical pulse of bluebird wings.
It’s coaxing our sixty-pound dog out from behind
a rotting mattress trashed in an alley, or wiping
nervous slobber from his mouth so neighbors don’t
mistake him as rabid. This is what the songs tell us,
with their radio voices—Come rain or come shine
speakers saturated with the sound of full orchestras.    

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