The cross-stitch of rain cannot undo
the bolts on my neck. He wanted
a friend with a mind submerged as his,
that tasted brine and iodine whenever
the thought of love crossed an invisible
threshold. I learnt to be the needle
to his record, knife to his cutting board,
cook to his broth. Drawn to the bulb
of his scalp, I curled around his feet
like parentheses and listened to stories
that might glaze bone. God how I longed
for a life other dogs might have: eating
air, drenching myself in ponds and lakes,
chasing clouds, lying on my back
and letting the wind tickle my stomach.
We cannot abandon the ones we love,
not even if their dreams plunge into yours,
turning your eyes the colour of headstones
when you wake.
’Frankenstein’s Dog’ by D A Angelo was commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (April 2021) judged by Mary Anne Smith Sellen.