It’s good to see someone staring up at your nude bodywithout a sign of interestand to have someone to share all yourvices with, giving a tithe of 10 percent of all snacks;yes it widens and inflates the soulto give regularly and not to feel braggy about it,and to be allowed to bury a loved one in yourown backyard for once, beneath the outhouse oftheir own favorite lemon tree—even to see your yard riddled with curious holes thegophers and snakes move into is healthy andreminds you you don’t really own anything—and gives you an excuse to be outside alonewithout getting lung cancer—or frightening theneighbors by your wish to be introspective;and who but dogs will teach you an appropriatefear of small children, or how to perceivethe ghost-world of secret smells like ESP—so no two fences can be passed without admiration—or pull you into the chase like a nature showwhere you can hold the tiger back atthe last second so everyone can go home,but still allow it the joy of the hunt. [End Page 121]
Adam Scheffler’s first book of poems—A Dog’s Life—was selected by Denise Duhamel as the winner of the Jacar Press-Full Length Poetry Book Contest and is forthcoming (fall 2016). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, The Antioch Review, Rattle, North American Review, Sewanee Review, and many other journals. He holds an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and is currently finishing his PhD in English at Harvard.