Living with Animals
Fu Manchu is a Shar-Pei,
the color of iron rust
and flawed because furiously furred --
way overdone, the pedigree mavens say.
He tick-sticks to us (his dogsitters)
to divine our intentions,
sucks us up in his eyes,
as if we were ink and they were blotters.
The cause of his devotion,
or is it doggedness, is genes
from Tibetan monk guard-dog
frisson in his veins.
Fu frets when my husband’s out of sight
until I pull back the curtain,
to show him: man-in-shower.
He then sinks to the floor, haunches pert,
nervous as cappuccino foam
outside the bathroom door,
shedding and drooling and dour,
pretending to relax: at least we’re home.
Other animals’ chemicals overlay
people like pentimenti.
Would octopi occupy us thus
if we octopus-sat them?
Probably: quite cooly
and with extreme suction
but no unction at all
In “How to be Perfect” Ron Padgett
says “Live with an animal.”
If nothing’s closer: wild ones in trees
where they leap like parentheses (enclosing us).