- The Neighbor's Dog Would Not Stop Barking
Elena Karina Byrne, poetry
A god, speaking to anyonewho wants to listen, paints apartthis person from that limb, this ceilingfrom that sky, this mouth inside a child's mouthlike those TV puppets that scaredme, sitting wood-jaw & vertebra upright in the lap.
I was daydreaming once insidea loud crowded white herd of penned, soon-to-besheared sheep in Scotland before it rained.Time, there, had a wayof listening backwards, turning inon itself for you: a music box wound too tightso you can't tell it to sing, or plosive angerthat never comes out of its box, that freezeson its green vine, panics the picture.
The neighbor was deaf & so tied both smallchildren to their beds till it was her timeto get up. For anyone inthe telling of this, you'd think cruelty wasthe metaphor. The sky didn't fall. Their sheep dog couldn't stop, so Dad put a hoseto it, bringing the twilight wet-hotsmell of cement into our home. [End Page 176]
elena karina byrne is the author of three books, including Squander. She is a freelance professor, editor, poetry consultant/moderator for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, and Literary Programs Director for The Ruskin Art Club. Her publications include the Pushcart Prize XXXIII, Best American Poetry, Poetry, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, Verse, Poetry International, The Academy of American Poets Poem-A-Day, Black Renaissance Noire, and BOMB. She just completed Voyeur Hour: Meditations on Poetry, Art, & Desire.