The Dogs of the White Canon
The land is a swash of monotone: cobwebs against yellowing barns,
seed pods off rusty fences.
Nothing to glide but the glue, the kind of setting that dulls the senses.
Give me: dog ripping leg on gravel road,
Give me: wolf on fire trail that circles the valley.
I heard dogs travel in packs, at night.
I heard undomesticated baying at the rough horizon.
They plunder the uninhabited
like hound on the trail of a hare,
or tear a shrew from its hole,
or like an Orca flip a seal pup,
head-over-heals in the light.
Buddy, the black lab,
proudly returns home, gangster, down the avenue,
jaw clenched over a wet mouse.
Buddy, listen up, predatory dogs
only mate at night and surely always disturb
any of the familiar faces that make up townsfolk.
Buddy, you are not a regular visitor. Lower your music.
Buddy, each year I have come here, you or another are here
wandering the hamlets: drinking, cheating, killing
in the back of a club, behind a high school gymnasium
near torn-up mounds north of town. Or not you.
Buddy, I saw once. You and I are a kind of undead,
washed up in some quarry
up a peak, not so bleak, because sooner or later a rumor will start
that you have will come back as a mountain lion.
Jonathan Andrew Perez is previously published in Prelude, Junto Magazine, The Write Launch and Silver Needle Press. He has a Master’s in English Literature and African American Cultural Studies from the University of Virginia, and a day job is as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor.