an especially hot July       


afternoon he calls me, screams
fuck, screams get here
because the animal hasn’t moved 
all day, because the flies are starting 
to gather 

I run the long block 
of lawn sprinklers spitting 
& find him, knees in the grass 
next to the neighbor’s dog 
(the one he was 

watching) with its body half 
under the porch, tar-
black backside baking 
in the sun


he weeps as if cracked open 
seam broken 

the dog’s stillness 
the flies’ dizzying dance 

who do we call? he asks 
& am I going to hell for this? 

I killed a dog

       he kicks 
the (empty) water bowl

I touch his head & can’t 
think of a single thing to say 

together we dig 
a hole, shovel 
like a loose tooth, body 
rolled down into dark 
& cool dirt 

a disappearance
then, earth as blanket 
how we jump 
to settle soil
soaked with sweat

our I’m sorry chorus
funeral song turned