Today's poem is by Tracy K. Smith

Nocturne: Andalusian Dog

I rise. I pant. I scrape
The pavement with my
Scamper. I howl

At nothing in particular.
The moon:
Wholly empty.

My yelping pups
Are slumped now
In alleys, scorched wells.

They sleep on roofs.
Mate under quays.
Rob, rove. Pure urge.

Isn't there anything
You've lived wanting
Like a dream that won't

Resolve? No ladder.
No chest of drawers.
And so you go on

Sniffing hems, licking
At scraps, thinking
Let me rest here

On this parched mound
Of earth. On the back
Of this giant, dormant

Beast, extinct now
All but the memory
Of its one rumbling need.

As if the thought itself
Were a fistful of straw
You could drag across

Every body, every bone
And shred that pushes
Your elbows down,

Your tail up in heat.
There are men here
Who would wound me

As if I were a woman.
There are these men
Everywhere. They leap.

They kick at my ribs.
I show them my teeth.
Black flowers bloom

From their sides.
I steal. I lie
On my back in the sun,

Haul my shadow
Through traffic. I watch
For when the shepherd's

Been drinking.
I rehearse comfort:
It is brief.

If I see an egg
Or a speck of meat,
I take it. People pass

From door to door,
Seeking what may not exist.
My death will come on wheels

And leave no trail.
Like a god,
I believe in nothing.

Copyright © 2007 Tracy K. Smith All rights reserved
from Quarterly West
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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