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November 4, 2019 Poetry

Dean Young

Justin Jannise

Dean Young photo

I leave behind a lot of empty wine bottles.
You said eat anything in the fridge and I did
right down to the last gherkin.
Unrelated: your turtle is dead.
You failed to mention it and I failed
to notice it in time. I know more about you
than I ever wanted. A note in the cabinet reads
If you want your marriage to succeed,
then you have to learn to forgive.
Things I don't let dogs do:
lick me, lean on me, initiate touch.
I constantly back away from them,
locking them in or out while I eat cereal
or smoke one of your cigars on the patio.
I hold my nose when I pet them,
teaching them that some hearts
betray rottenness and contempt. When my niece
grew tall enough to ride every carnival ride, I said
Congrats, now you're an extra twelve dollars.
It rained yesterday and I let the dogs
run through the mud. It never occurred to me
to clean them before letting them in.
I made more money working the drive-thru
at a burger chain that has since burned down.
Not the whole chain just the one I worked at.
Your neighbor told me that houses
in this part of town get burglarized.
I'll start locking the door when I leave.
Your dogs chewed up a throw pillow.
You may want to empty that vacuum
before using it. I've been staying on top of
your mail. So far, nothing worth keeping.


image: Aaron Burch