Praise poem

The dog through the window walks unashamed,
moving to consume the love nearest by.
Pushing their head infinitely to the stranger,
not fearing the talking sun. A flea walks up
to my cup and floats as if on ice
hovering above, on, above. I push it away,
and it flickers into the air. Just yesterday, I saw
a woman give a visitor a handful of fruit.
Going into her kitchen, there were persimmons
and tangerines on the counter, lemons tarrying on the floor,
nothing living in the rightful container.
Their hands were so heavy they had to push them together
to hold it all. The window dog is much like
the Tinder dogs is much like a screen playing fire.
I know the men are good because they are near
the dogs. I know the fire is good
because I’ve felt alone without.
The day I moved to LA I saved the plane ticket from home.
It’s sentimental to imagine another monochromatic lifetime.
Still, I have memory to place her foothold in meaning.
Moten says the settler is not someone who goes to someplace
that’s not their own the settler is someone who goes someplace
and tries to make it their own. If ownership, then reconstructive
surgery. The store I’m in, or this world, keeps asking
if I want my receipt. A prescient child’s hand
holding an acorn. I have no need for innocence.
It’s becoming less hard to imagine the dignity
of standing up and leaving a seat empty for someone new.

From The Animal Indoors by Carly Inghram. Copyright © 2021 by Carly Inghram. Reprinted with the permission of the Permissions Company, LLC. on behalf of Autumn House Press.