My Dog Keeps Getting These Damn Foxtails in Her Paws, Originally Published in the Gordian Review 2018

Original publication can be viewed here.

Squeeze slowly. Let her sniff your hands.
But hold her torso.
Don’t let up the pressure.
Gently rub thumb and index.
Like pinwheel fingers.
Tenderly.
Avoiding nails.
As slow as our water heater takes to warm.
As soothing as feet sliding across one another in the middle of the night.
She will most likely scream.
And so I will have an excuse to hug her.
An oily blanket on my skin and face.
Pull as many hairs away
from the spikes
as possible.
One by one.
Don’t forget to hold her.
Down Before you:
Pluck.
Pluck.
Pluck.
One by one.
I think I would still caress the spines out like kneading in body lotion,
Even if we had money to afford to shave her.

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