My dog, Moses, amidst the roses.

My dog, Moses, amidst the roses.

Why are you bringing that with us?

his eyes inquire as I pick up after him.

I peel the plastic bag from my wrist

and pull the end into a knot.

Why don’t we leave it?

He flicks his tail from question to exclamation

and back again.

We walk on.

I hold the sack in one hand, our tether in the other.

He trots ahead, sniffing up trees, along patches of grass.

How could he possibly understand

The reasons I don’t just leave that behind?

There are proper ways to dispose of things.

I startle myself with an odd sense of pride.

Pride about carrying shit with me, not leaving it behind.

When I do let it fall- finally,

into the cylindrical receptacle 

beside a bus stop on Hawthorne,

He is busy lifting a leg across the sidewalk, 

Our tether taut,

On some low shrubs.

Swoosh. Thud.

His eyes meet mine. 

Ready? Let’s go!

He is bounding now. 

His body undulating and otter-like

As we tear down the sidewalk, 

Take corners swiftly 

And plunge into our tree-lush neighborhood.

He pulls me into the rose garden.

Chase me! Get me! 

He chomps at the leash and bows.

I unhook him and we run

After each other 

Around the rose bushes

Drooping with roses.

I got you! Come get me!

We find one another

Again and

Again

And then he rolls on his back

On the fuchsia petals that dot the grass

And I rub his belly because we are both empty

And full

And there is nothing that needs holding on to.

- Daphne Jenkins