privy to her secret

i threw the pebble for her, my connecticut aunt’s border collie,

into the crackling carpet of leaves that autumn afternoon

at our cabin in the woods, where there was no indoor plumbing.

each time she would fetch it, tail wagging, sniffing out the same old stone,

panting hungrily before i tossed it once again.

i was amazed at how she knew, just by the smell which rock

was the one to elicit my affection, and i wanted her to teach me how,

this foreigner come to call,

to nuzzle through the dryness, take the hardness in my mouth

and find affection on the other side.


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