Dog Days 2020



Art by Joel Rea

Karen Craigo

Ex Doesn’t Answer

And he always answers, 
so I’m left to wonder 
where he is, but also 
how—did he wake today, 
did he fall, did he clutch 
at his sternum and gasp 
for air, or is he just 
at lunch, a rare impulse— 
say a friend dropped in,
or the guy next door 
needed a hand. Wherever 
he is, is he doing OK, 
old dog curled beside him?

Matthew Murrey

We Dogs

                            —North Carolina, September 2018

stood strange at the chain link
like captive prophets, howled help,
hoped for release. God only knows
how that could come when rain remains
a slough of days, when rivers overrun
their banks and drown them. I heard
the gate creak shut, the fork latch
clank down. I felt at my belly
dark water licking its chops. And yet
relief arrived with a beard and a life
vest of stars and stripes. Odd times. 
They swore there’d never be flood
this far from the sea—not ‘til pigs fly
(though they floated) or hounds
stand around on two legs and raise
high their paws in despair, or praise.

Yvonne Zipter

Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound

My dog’s head is the exact shape and size
of a Brooks leather bicycle saddle,
and I love to seat a kiss
on the snout of her,
bending over that jetty of face,
our heads cheekbone to cheekbone—
if a hound can be found to have cheeks—
feel the velvet of that peninsula on my lips,
the faint scent of grime and grass,
the ghost of a tongue trail
grazing her platinum fur.
The thrill of knowing we are only
the span of a sense memory
from past perfidy,
a whisker’s breadth
from pointed tooth and unfurling flesh.

Cover art by Elke Vogelsang

[Originally published by Common Ground Review (Fall/Winter 2012); reprinted in A Constellation of Kisses, ed. Diane Lockward (Terrapin Books, 2019), and included in Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound (Terrapin Books, 2020)]

Dog Days 2019

Dog Days 2018

Dog Days 2017

Dog Days 2016

Dog Days 2015

Dog Days 2014

Joel Rea at EIL

Elke Vogelsang at EIL

Terrapin Books