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    Head so faithfully fitted to my palm

    nose to the breastbone, on my lap you sigh and

    press toward shadows under the chin.

    Gathering yourself between my breasts you

    press on anxiously out of the light,

    some burrow-seeking instinct leading

    your nose into my armpit,

    piebald ears spread against my shirt

    like wings of a giant moth.

    Your brother curls on my lap,

    half lame but twice as strong

    front paws punching my legs

    in a furious little dance

    as he barks at a flicker of light, each bark

    throwing him upwards with its force.

    Agitated, he has no use for my lap, wishes

    for Down, for Out as paw beats quicken

    and barks meander into questioning whines.

    I set him on the floor, and propelled

    by some hunting, he-dog spirit

    he is off, dragging his rear legs behind him,

    too determined and headstrong for pity.

    It is only you, pressing desperately deeper towards

    darkness and the beat of my heart,

    who is damaged beyond repair.



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