1 min read

I saw him for a split second,

black and white edged in beige,

a mixed breed.

It's absurd, of course, a trick of memory,

yet I know the texture of his coat,

the oiled quality of a retriever,

every coarse hair separate beneath the stroking palm.

Not a stray-

a red heart tag like a talisman

at the base of the white throat,

a classy loose-gaited cur on a night out

to hunt rat in an empty lot, or

with luck, nose out a coon,

one of those cagey big-city survivors in littered parks.

He'd made it across five lanes

to be caught in headlights,

superbly alive when I hit him mid-stride, dead center

at a mile a minute.