Dog Park

I told Alli I really wanted
to write a poem called “Dog Park.”

In bed she’s like you could make it
a New Yorker poem, where you
go to a dog park and then have some
huge epiphany. And then we
have a soft debate as to whether
a poem called “Dog Park”
needs a dog park in it or
not, or even a dog. I dunno.

But I do I know I don’t want
to get up out of bed, not now,
five milligrams of warm indica
coaxing me into its native land
of sleep, to write down Alli’s
idea for my poem “Dog Park”
and I tell her so and she says
get up, you’re a poet, and it’s
true, so I shuffle off this
warm, magnificent mattress,
firm as the back of a Golden
Retriever in the prime of life.

The blinds in the bedroom
are shut tight against the mean
lights of the Pacific East Mall
that moan all night and make
the nearby bedrooms bright.
But I get up, ugh, to write
down what might be the
beginning of a poem called
“Dog Park,” with or without a
dog park or even a dog. And
obviously you’d rather be
a cloud than a poet, Jesus.
Or the plastic tip of a vape pen
or the floating lint in the store
where they sell beds and sheets
and pillows and duvets or even
a grody hunk of sand on the
ground of a dog park, my
nightmare. But it will just
take a minute or two, and then
I can pee one last time with
impunity, double check the
door is locked, go back to bed,
wait for the next one.

Copyright © 2020 by Brandon Brown. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on December 29, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.