a poem to Dogs: Ode to Dogs

by Michael Meyerhofer

I am tired of hearing about dogs
used as metaphors for the uncivilized.
Imagine a world in which humans

possessed at least twenty times
as many olfactory receptors,
able to distinguish the tang of cancer

rising musk-like from the bedsheets
next to a smoldering ash tray,
able to detect that one drop of blood

in every five quarts of water,
to know what you did last night
no matter how many times

you soap-scrubbed the evidence.
It does not take savagery
but more love than we can muster

to lick the hand you’ve sniffed,
to love despite the perfume of sins
we wear each day like a halo.

 

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