Of or Pertaining to the Dog Days


I do not want to maim my father.
I want to suck, sleep, lie. Cradled
at his hip, sole hooked in popliteal fossa,
breathing his fur, his folds, his night
toweled dry after the bath, cheek
to warm belly, dun skin every color
of the dream. My hand draped on soft
light cotton.
                     I want to take his breath
away and give it back. I want my arm
to become his rib, I want to burrow into
his side deep to his center, stipple the skin
between his shoulders, feather into wing
and, if not beat, may I hold firm the span
to give him hope in his fall that we both
might glide.
                     Yes, press out the back of him
as me: wings, arms, claws, eyes, tongues,
webbed muscle cutting shadow, turning
two arms into five, one spine into one
fused one, one trunk with too many heads
and not enough tail. I want to be the birds and
the entrails, bound as we are, I want him
to live. How else, who else, will I eat.

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