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They Left Their Dog and a Record Playing

ISSUE:  Summer 2015

They left their dog and a record playing,
the boy and girl next door. Last night

they argued to music, like they do;
this morning only the song was home—

a dog asleep in the yard—the yellow dog,
the mortified, raving yard.

The girl wore an egg of amber on a chain
around her neck. The egg bore a black

widow spider; its hourglass brown
as bourbon; the sand run out for good,

for the whole neighborhood. How they
got so much in that little car

we’ll never know. How they got so much,
they couldn’t agree. It was what

they fought about. And the dog, the record
playing. The boy wore a wallet

with a chain to his belt. The wallet bore
a skull with smiling eyes, the word

“Misfits” worn away with paying. The door
is open, skull dark. We don’t need to go

to know it’s empty, to see the player
on its milk crate, playing the record over,

filling the house, spilling the dog outside,
like an oath, a vow left to keep itself.


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