A Dog Lover’s Life-and-Death State of Mind: Poem of the Day by Roy Bentley

Image of dog lover's pet Jupiter sleeping

Another Effing Dead Dog

Checking a plastic syringe, she asks again
whether I’m ready then does what she does.
She says that she could perform surgery now
then administers a second injection. I want it,
his death, to say we speak loss and that loss

is the first language in which we are fluent.
Go ahead and say it: Another effing dead dog.
But my presence in the room meant everything.
And fast forward to ashes in a Sosa cigar box,
the box traveling to Ohio to sit on a dresser.

They travel well, ashes, though the contents
are not him. The stuffed bear next to the box
is his. And I recall an aura around his gold fur
after he stopped breathing and what had to be
done had been done and I left him on a table

to be handled with reverence, it being Iowa.

Roy Bentley About Roy Bentley

Roy Bentley is the author of four books and several chapbooks. Poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Blackbird, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, North American Review, and elsewhere, as well as the anthologies New Poetry from the Midwest and Every River on Earth. His collection of poems Nosferatu in Florida is currently in search of a publisher, having been a finalist for the New American Poetry Prize (twice), the Moon City Review Poetry Prize, the Gerald Cable Book Award, and the Anhinga Prize for Poetry. He has received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (in poetry) and fellowships from the arts councils of Ohio and Florida. He lives in Pataskala, Ohio.

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