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(After Howl)

I saw the best dog of my generation

flash by the kitchen, snapping at flies.

White-furred and -plumed, ears back, he hurtled

silently through summer air against

the window where they looped and buzzed; fell flat.

Recovered then, fangs bared, and sprang again.

He never caught one, but in August light

reconstitutes himself -- black lips

drawn, dark eyes narrowed in his predatory smile,

a lithe torpedo launched at targets out of reach.

I like to think we joined beneath the skin:

wolf brothers strung out loosely in a hunting line

where flies were sideshows, and the surge towards

a beyond was what electrified.

Writer's Digest 10th National Poetry Competition (2015); first published in Falcons (2020)

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