Whenever he talks I hope he knows I’m listening,
But I only respond when he is gone.
I dream that I can ask him questions. Why is there thunder?
How long were you alive before me?
When he takes me for a walk I know he is thinking of his regrets.
That is what silence has always done to him, I bet.
He looks at me every day and says the fur on my tail
Is growing back. I take his word for it. I don’t think
He would lie to me, especially about something like that.
But when I dream, I dream I walk upright and don’t limp anymore.
We both walk without pain, and we run.
I can hear him from far away, calling like he is lost.
I appear with my head over the tall grass, bobbing like a seal’s.
He embraces me completely, jowls and teeth, and we tumble.
He carries me like he did the first day we met. I am never bleeding
In my dreams. I only lick where he was hurt,
That is why I lick him everywhere. I put myself between him and everything.
I am a well-worn dog, that is what he says about me.
He puts cream on my tail and tells me it will help
The hair grow back. It doesn’t. I lick it off
And no hair grows on my tongue. I remind him
If all his actions had the desired consequence
He would not be here.
Erik Carlsen is a Junior at PLU and is always happy to be read, especially in Creative Colloquy.