My Measure

No better than a dog, I am
easily fooled and overruled, a slave
to my sack of gut, nose aquiver
with the season. Sometimes, I wince
at the weight of your hand; sometimes,
I importune into whatever cleft
comes closest. I am not the best exemplar
of my breed and can only hope myself
familiar enough to keep my place,
endearingly fond, so that while I stare
mournfully at the front door,
you summon me from the back.


Many called but few chosen, we eye each other,
clutching our brief-cased particulars.

Spit-shined, not much separates us but accidents
of hue and coiffure. A late-comer, I cradle

a thin dossier, so light my briefcase, hurled,
would hardly dent drywall. I hope it doesn’t

come to that. Did they answer an advertisement,
or were they summoned like me, in a whisper

of red letters? Some, nonchalant or good
fakers, chat. I keep to myself, not sharing

the lingo. A single affright and I’d run.
Would something pursue, all eyes and wing-blur,

or would I exit to a squeak of shoes
across the vast antechamber’s waxed solitude?

The Call

When the call comes, goodness,
what a clamor all around.

I can hardly hear, so I step out,
cupping a hand to my ear.

Come again? I say. The reply
is faint. I proceed, assuming

I’ll understand as I go. Not
a solicitor, this someone

seems to know me. I strain
until static drowns

our connection. Perhaps,
he’ll try later.

Boy with a Dog by Pablo Picasso, 1905