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 Boy in a Boat (University of Alabama Press), Any One Man (Bottom Dog Books), The Trouble with a Short Horse in Montana (White Pine Press), and Starlight Taxi (Lynx House Press). A new book, Walking with Eve in the Loved City, has been selected by Billy Collins as a finalist for the 2018 Miller Williams Poetry Prize and will be publlshed in the spring of 2018 by the University of Arkansas Press. Work from that collection has appeared in Shenandoah, Pleiades, Rattle, Blackbird, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.

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