Lexi Cary

The Pit Bull

When I touch the pit bull / I begin touching roads to my past self / I follow them to her belly / scarred and unyielding / birth in the street / lost puppies / headlights / she rested her head on me / thunder blanket / as the present caved / into the past / she rested her head on me / heavy and sleepy / as I took up residence on the couch / her eyes perpetually guilty / I read into them an apology / for not fixing the loveless love / she was found to fix

Everyone wants to know / why I no longer look at the pit bull / but you were there / they say / at two am / alone / in the vet waiting room / with the wailing cats and their wailing ladies / waiting for her to come back from death / as everyone who’s asking / slept / but you were there / they say / to calm her rough paws from canine nightmares / your face something unspeakably motherlike / we assume / to a quadruped baby / trembling from memories / she didn’t understand 

I locked eyes with the pit bull / pulling shimmering pink streamers / from her mouth / as she retched / as they were lodged in her stomach / I told her I can’t do this / I told her I’m sorry / I told her I’m selfish / I told her that I had infused her with my guilt / over the failed relationship / over sleeping late / over working too much / and had made her a totem / of everything and nothing that wasn’t her fault 

when in fact she is nothing more than a belly and four rough paws / a jagged set of scars / I had no business declaring myself her savior / giving myself that kind of importance / for she is just a dog / and I just a flaw /masquerading as an answer

Lexi Cary is a bi writer (w/b)itch and musician based in Los Angeles. Her poetry can be found or is forthcoming in DUM DUM ZineAngel City ReviewAlways Crashing, and Germinal Mag. You can see more of her work at lexicary.com and @_lexicary on twitter and Instagram.