PORTRAIT OF THE DALMATIAN THAT BIT MY MOTHER

C.T. SALAZAR

 

Because someone forgot to lock that fence.
Because of all the shapes, I came in the shape
 
           of rage. Because I carry July
 
in my skin.  Because every pair of hands handles me
violently. Because my mouth is most my beastliness.
 
Because Grendel must have also hated chains—
            must have also howled at the tall silhouettes.
 
            Because the birds looked
 
the other way, but weren’t troubled enough to flee. Because
the thigh was pincushion soft and seemed defenseless
 
            as an abandoned beehive.
 
Because I didn’t think her hands could hold so much
            survival. Because
 
            her son was nearby.
 
Because No—dumb dog I’ll kill you if you don’t get away
from my child. Because he is still tender. Because
 
            the antonym of bite is kiss and she kisses him
 
                         every day. Because
 
            breaking           the skin                       of a mother
 
                         only means     putting your mouth
 
 
            to a muscle that tightens                    a universe
 
 
                                    of danger into a single soon-to-snap
                                    harp string.

 
 

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