A man in a filthy ballcap
sits the curb in front of the Circle K.
The hat reads MUDKATS in red letters so raveled
they sway busily in the random breeze.
go Mudkats, he mutters to himself.
Beside him sits a yellow dog,
an old girl by anyone's account.
The man screams at it, a chorus of names.
"You don't wanna piss me off! Goddamned dog!"
The dog sits very still.
She doesn't want to piss him off.
The man has a rucksack that was blue once;
but now is as faded as his eyes.
It's stuffed with something enough to burst its seams
in several strategic places, but nothing spills out.
Its smell rivals the dumpster parked on a slant
in the back lot.
Later, he pulls a bottle from his sack
and slugs himself sleepy.
He takes off his cap and rests his head on the dog's haunch-
a sleep so deep that someone might steal his cap
if it wasn't for the goddamned dog.