NO DOGS IN HEAVEN
It’s their morning walk; one shall be taken.
He’s masked, she’s not. They match
in sweaters. He is black, but time
has made him blue and atheist.
She is bleach white, a poodle.
Reaching the porch he sits; into his lap
she goes. He is her only friend. Cruel
Balaam cared not for his ass, which bore him.
Not so this man, this dog, teeth bearing.
She pours forth a fondue of speech,
tongue writhing like gum, but to a gentle end.
She shares as one carried and as caring.
“I nightmared of Noah’s ark last night;
I was on it, you were not.”
It was in youth that he sought God, but is now
with this life, this dog. Interpreting, he says, “I
was there. The ark was me.” This is why,
of heaven or of hell, of neither
could I believe or bear, without you.