While I am trying to write this poem,

Supine on a florid couch 

With laptop inertly pressed against 

My belly, my dog insists upon 

Licking my hands, gently 

But persistently nudging her snout 

Between my fingers and the keyboard.


Her tongue, like a wet fruit roll-up,

Slips its red circumflex around my knuckles.

I try to shoo her away–

Tell her that daddy is writing–

While passionate violins hum 

From the tinny laptop speakers

And the fan slowly churns the

Dry August air above my head.


This is an afternoon I will never get back.

I know this like I know any other fact:

The dates of the Civil War, the major writers

Of the Harlem Renaissance, or how many

Players can be on a basketball court at one time. 


But I also feel it with a sort of dull ache

That starts in my left big toe and radiates 

Up through my femur, finally, restlessly

Nesting in the space between ribs three

And four on my left side (starting

From the bottom and counting up). 


What a rare pain, to know the sensations

Of an afternoon will stay within that bubble 

Of time, while the body–sweating, worrying, desiring–

Travels onward, gets older, and forgets.


My dog, her head now resting

Lightly upon my knee, will probably 

Have forgotten this afternoon by this evening,

Busying herself with dinner and a final romp 

Around the hay-bail in the backyard.


And that is fine, like the dry August air,

The cloud dappled sunshine, and the 

Just-now-browning leaves that rustle

Above the heartbeat of violins.