Maybe Next Time Around

p
o
e
m
s

For Marie

 

Dogs. Yes, dogs she says, are like angels.

No, I say, they are like dogs. It’s 103 degrees.

August, church bells banging, cars, voices

       of children and parents. Dogs,

are better than people, she says.

They embody virtue, exemplify

the steadfastness and magnanimity

that redeem the nightbound world.

I’m not sure, I say. I think they’re more like dogs.

Meanwhile, we’re watching her dog noisily and

       intently chew a rawhide. I’m thinking

that I don’t like having a body. Dogs, she says,

have been coevolving with humans for 50,000 years.

That’s a long time, I say, imagining

       a northern landscape, campfires, ancient

caribou herds, dogs trailing skeptically behind,

eyeing their first humans. Do you think, I say,

we are getting any better? Me, you,

       people? Do you think dogs

are making us better humans?

I don’t really look at it that way, she says.

What way, I ask? The getting better way,

       she says, that things are getting anywhere.

Oh, I say, seeing a planet in flames, humans

clinging to dogs, careening through space,

burning towards the next world.

Joshua Moses is visiting assistant professor of anthropology and environmental studies at Haverford College.

You Might Also Enjoy

Jimmy Carter’s Rabbit

Lydia Millet

He came to see me at my Atlanta office, after his move back to Plains. It was a slow afternoon and the day’s sessions were. . .

stories

Playing Down

John Redford

1978 The last burst of photon torpedoes almost got him. If the Imperial destroyer had set the spread a little wider, the torpedo. . .

stories

Baffler Newsletter

new email subscribers receive a digital copy of our current issue.

Further Reading

 January 11

Enmity, rendered gamelike through this remove into the virtual, is the same as it’s always been, only now maybe even worse.

 January 11

For now, Iranians don’t seem to be telegraphing the need for or hunger to dismantle their government and rebuild it from the from the ground up.