Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Leash Training

means trying to make my dog wear blinders
by shoveling fried hot dog bits in his mouth

that—jaws open & yawn wide—is the size
of a dinner plate sailing toward a woman’s face

as she rounds her car to enter the bank
or a small boy pedaling his bike to the beach

baby toddling with kite  ANOTHER DOG
swinging children who’ll probably strangle us

with pigtails or tall grasses or they harbor
every barking friend he can hear all night

all drops of chocolate in the baking cake
he’ll never eat if it doesn’t fall to the floor

& who can blame him his lunge & buck
at a leashed end for wanting to blaze

an aspen grove after a herd of elk when
I can’t make myself ignore a single detail—

the way you said my name or toward the end
breathed  yeah  yeah  yeah  until you simply didn’t  

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