The Dog Next Door
How you love to write about God,
even if you don’t know what to believe.
Especially because of that.
You love to write,
“God is speaking to us,” or, “God shows us,”
as if by writing you could make it so.
and the pit bull next door is barking on his too-short chain. You love to write, “Love is kept on a tight leash
in a concrete yard, barking and howling,”
and in this way connect your own pain
with that of the suffering animal
and the knotted-up flow of love in the world,
as if this would solve something,
when what you really need to do
is call the SPCA, or better yet,
since you’re a word person, find the words
to approach your neighbor: “About your dog?”
Still, you want to bring God into everything.
Mostly, you like the name,
the way it hangs like light around ordinary objects,
the grace it lends the least utensils.
There is some profound pleasure
in writing about simple things
that have been written about over and over
and letting God slip in between the lines,
while love, yes, all right, love,
is kept on its too-short leash, barking and howling,
and wind lashes the last of November’s leaves
from the neighbor’s yard into your own.