by S. Maxwell Quinn

i thought to call my Mother,
to see her for dinner
or something. the dog has been dead
for days and i have not
left my house. his body
propped against the couch,
sort of just sitting there,
gathering dust and flies,
shedding spare hairs.
i doubt she’ll answer, i doubt dead pets can
still shed.
but the furniture still wears
his fur, drifting from his stiff legs,
his lifeless head.
leave a message, it said.
the dog died, i
said. i hung up, grabbed a treat
from the cupboard. paw,
i said, and i lifted his paw
like a simple machine.
his hair floated about (i know
it will always be there);
then a memory came from somewhere,
and it made me lonely.

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