Rabies, Bite One

Rabies, Bite One

Ironically, the dog
that bit me
first was a stray pet
named Smiley.

I still have a B&W
photo of us
in the flower box
built from lumber scraps

around the pecan tree
outside our house—
cause every
God-believin’ soul

needs some spring pretty
to raise hope
like daffodils crown
from buried bulbs.

I am two, dressed
in a white Carter’s
Fox Cap / Sleep-&-Play
like a little

astronaut suited for his
ride to the moon.
A black band
of fur stretches

across Smiley’s eyes,
creating a lanky
canine Clayton Moore.
The lone eye

I can make out
seems to say, I’m sorry
for the coming bite
and blood,

for the viral crazy
in my brain, the fourteen
deep-muscle shots
in your gut—

sorry for all the strange
ways this place
can blast you straight
off the earth.


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