Thursday, August 09, 2007


That’s not our dog,

The small boy said,
Putting his finger
In his mouth, frowning.
A moment before,
He and the puppy romped
Joyous, heedless in youth,
Exuberant with vibrant life.
The little dog ran in
Ever-widening circles,
Tail wagging, tongue lolling.
Til his circling took him out
Under the wheels of a passing
Truck, the driver heedless,
Intent on some important other thing,
Nor even stopped or slowed.

Now, like Peter, denying, denying,
His friend, his lord,
The boy cannot recognize in this
Quivering meat, his old friend.
His dog laughed and played,
Barking and leaping high.
His dog had shining eyes, and
A wagging tail, not like this
Suffering lump of fur.
As the light went out of the
Brown eyes, and a rude, unseemly
Belch of blood, the boy said,
That’s not our dog.

Oh, how the living flesh
Shrinks from the awful fact
Of mortality. The body,
Wiser than our thoughts, knows
Its death when it sees it.
When I was young,
I used to wish I could just
Divorce my flesh,
Live on air as pure mind.
Damn Cartesian Lie!
We do not live as an
Angel mind trapped within
The bestial body –
The flesh IS us,
Beast all through.
The mind is a
Meat computer,
Snuffed out when
The heart stops pumping.
And yet, we deny, deny.
I am more than this
Dying body. Man is not a beast.
That’s not our dog,
we say.

And the cock crew again,
And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.
And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.


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