Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2021  Vol. 20  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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the junkyard galaxy knocks

for a long hour my dog sits, head cocked
as a ready hand, stares toward the plum-
drenched window where nothing is visible

to me but a neighbor’s TV pulse of blue
light. I wonder what he sees beyond—
or in—the pane. when I first rented

this place with its sweeping ceiling of
exposed beams, I asked the landlady
who’d lived here before, last century,

and it was blind men & women workers
for a local factory. then again, you don’t know
what you can’t see. my dog blinks at the dark,

swivels ears toward the black hole of glass.
sometimes the ceiling drops nubs of carbonized
wood like asteroids onto my white sofa. I pluck

them off carefully. I have a bouquet of
comet shards flung from my roof, but who
brings space debris indoors? I start to believe

it’s whoever’s in the window, and yes,
there are times the other windows howl
a loose-jointed chorus of clattering thwacks,

sounding both fragile and like a fist
punching the glass. I tell my lover over
the wind, if I ever wake up as a dog

you’ll know it’s me. keep the dog with you
if I do. and how will he see that it’s me,
he wants to know. I say,

just look.a window is a portal—
somewhere in space-time there are animals who
see what we can’t conjure even in sleep.

who decides where a roof ends
and the junkyard galaxy begins—
when I say hello love and he peers under

the blinds of my eyelashes, is what he sees
what I think he sees? when I say ability
sometimes I mean a spot in the spherical,

gaseous planet of ability. I blink into
myself, trying to unsmudge the fenestra.
who’s there? I ask my dog. who’s there?  

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