Three a.m., still hot, the night a vinyl suit
I've worn to bed. The neighbor's coon dogs
bay at nothing from their cage. A luna moth
looks in at me, red-eyed cabbage leaf
stuck to the screen. I sleep an hour,
wake up--my heart flops and flops in its creel.
Dogs on Scatter Ridge start barking,
dogs in the valley, dogs downtown.
I think of you, and the phone rings
once. I take a xanax, wait on the porch
for its small grey calm. Mistrise. Two deer
levitate across the yard. Dogs in Meigs County
answer our dogs; dogs in West Virginia,
Kansas, Mexico. The moon bloats, sinks
behind the house (pink edge in the east,
dawn showing its gums). Every dog in China
barks at once. The planet skips from its orbit.
The dead rise, groaning, from their humid beds.
Copyright c 1998 by Oberlin College. May not be
reproduced without permission.