There's a three-legged dog
that roams the back alleys of town.
Some days find him brave along main street,
dodging traffic on three scarred pads
and a counter-weight shaped like a thigh.
He has no name that I ever knew,
but I call him untitled; a shambling draft
filled with page after page of stories
no one will ever hear, or get to read
within the bindings of a worn and dusty book.
He doesn't eat well but he eats-
a scrap here and a morsel there, sometimes
I see the butcher's boy lay bones unwrapped
outside the rear door; strings of meat and sinew
reflect an act of grace beneath the sheen
of summer blowflies.
I often wonder if he dreams of Rin Tin Tin,
if he envies the great shepherd and his celluloid flock;
or if he knows that had fate only made him aesthetic
and born him in a different circumstance, that it might
have been him poised stalwart on a Hollywood cliff?
I know that one day I'll come into town,
find him bloated beside some curb; sides fat at last.
And when the road crews shovel him up, he'll spill
volumes across their boots; an untitled tide of words
riding gutter-waves to an nameless sea.