I want a dog.
My colleague asked “what kind of dog?” and I said
any dog. The dog’s shape is not important,
what’s important is that he is a warm, breathing idea. When my chest constricts with anxiety and the next few days spool like black thread
tangling between my fingers like knots in tiny silver chains
I unpick the fear with the thought of my dog. My village house
on far-out Yuen Long soil, surrounded by a green that sneaks through sunlit windows
few english translations and locals who will stare for years but reluctantly come round to the idea of me in a wide-brimmed hat walking my nondescript dog.
This is a warm picture. I hold it in reverie, like a talisman
til it is as smooth as a worrystone
I turn it over between my fingers at night,
quietly moved by the slow rhythms of my partner’s breathing.
When I am angry I throw that dream away as if fury could keep it
quelled in the darkness of a well a thousand feet deep but
with each soft kiss that tastes like sleep and unbrushed teeth I feel
my wishing pebble back and the hot make-believe rasp of my unnamed dog butting the foot of the bed.
In the morning
dark outside and in my designated smart clothes
sleepy with the illicit
extra ten minutes we say we won’t spend but find impossible to resist
somewhere near my apartment a baby cries like a broken thing
and I want to cry too
because I feel like a broken thing.
But I hold on to the shadow
of warm bodies in the morning, Yuen Long and I love you and
my make believe dog.