References to Only Emmalina


the body worker found her resting somewhere near my tailbone
first, then curled around my heart the warmth still there
and asked me “what’s with all these references to dogs?”

she is shining on, so why am i surprised? but still
my body must be talking ‘cause i haven’t said a word

“she died last June” i say it once again, the way my tongue
keeps flicking at the cut inside my mouth that just won’t heal

“i’m sorry for your loss” it’s what they say, what i say too
the closest we can get to someone else’s grief

i feel her in my body but i never find her in my home
my fingers holding the last bite stupidly for no one
and my feet avoid the memory of her faithful
in the dark beside my bed

there she isn’t, there she isn’t, there is where
she rolled onto her back and squirmed with joy
to see me home, her body would be talking
even though she never said a word

and there

the last place where she laid her head upon my lap
and sighed, its always happening again there
when i step across the doorway

yes i always feel it in my throat, my hands, my eyes
while new age music plays the body worker presses
on my shoulder, “that’s the reason” she is smiling
“all the references your body makes to dogs.”



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