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The Dog Days of Guilt

These canine afternoons

leave none to trek

past leafy ceilings

and the water bowls

drowning bugs


and as repellant

as outside feels, inside August

hangs

like the smell of one’s sweat

on a hook;


the door creaks ajar,

its squeak for lubrication,

widening with window's

breeze,

like a cat’s protracted

yawn, with the sound of

cicadas in heat,


my withering plant

cringes, its violet

flowers quaking

at the thunder

within the ellipse,


the light above—

a stroboscope,


its off-and-on and off-and-on

harkening to the night

of the prom, when I was hesitant

to kiss you, missed my chance

when the final song ended

and the spinning ball aloft

abruptly halted:


like a car that will brake

and skid,


before its tumble

down an embankment,

with you behind the wheel

and me with my regret

that I never offered a lift,

while the seconds had

flashed

before fading,

ripe with their verdant

promise.




Andreas Gripp

October 29, 2023


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