MERCY

The Dalmatian sank from me
when I set him on the grass,

pausing to kneel before his bones
crumpled away. I knew he was reaching

toward death. I wanted to help him
snatch it in his jaws.

I can trace this moment forward
to the end of so many things:

my address, the life I’d planned,
the man I held until I saw

I was never his. Weeks later,
dog prone on the bed where sunset

gilded …

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