nosey parker

I heard you had a black dog
I watched out of the window
To see it
I turned off the television so that
I might hear it
I looked inside your shopping
Trolley to espy evidence

But there was nothing

I heard you had a black dog that
Screamed the scream
Of children
Wrenched from their mothers
In nightmares
With teeth bared sharp enough to
Pare away the flesh
Of the obese
From bones bent under the
Weight of affluence

But there was nothing

I heard you had a black dog
That warned you of
Impending danger
A line of communication between
This world and all others
That knew of your movements
And could herd you
To safety
When quakes were coming
And floods rose

But there was nothing

Except a stain that escaped your
Mouth one afternoon
While you were sleeping
I saw it creep out
It ran down your shirt,
Across your belt and
Onto the floor
I thought it had the shape,
Size and colour

I wanted to ask you

They say you’ve lost yourself
To nighttime wanderings
To a dark set of notions that
Don’t belong to day
That you leash yourself to
A collar without a tie
Eating once a day without
Variety or menu

I wanted to ask you

If the shadows licking your
Feet are really shadows
I think the reflection on
The far wall moves of
Its own free will
The tape on the back of your
Hand secures an open wound
Your body morphs into two
Others at the full moon

I wanted to ask you
I expected to see paw prints
But then there was nothing.

Text: © J. L. Nash, 2011
Images: © Eric Ogden

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