“. . . fire officials said the man, having just lost his home to
foreclosure, cut a gas line and blew it up with him inside.”
WXXI News, August 21, 2019

shake the image of the man tethering his dog
in what he believed would be a safe place, I give
my cats extra scrooches and though they are too fat

already, a can each for dinner because this is the love
an animal understands, the man filled a bowl with food
another with water for his dog before he sealed shut

the windows, uncapped the gas valve and waited
for the house to fog and blow. Because the dog
is the aching tooth my tongue won’t stay away from,

I think about the man’s last words, how the dog surely
heard the shut door of them. Still I imagine he lay

patient in the scabbed grass near his doghouse and waited,
and yes, I can imagine everything but how you walk away.

BECAUSE I CAN'T by Sarah Freligh



Photo used under CC