Just to feel free and be someone

with thanks to Gregory Pardlo and Pádraig Ó Tuama

The sky is clear, immaculate, and the Big Dipper is as big as I’ve ever seen it.

And it’s not your hand I’m holding. We can’t hold hands anymore anyway.

But the dog holds my hand, her yellow nylon leash taut, as she pulls me on with her snuffling love of scents, with her bounding joy for the running neither of us could do a month ago.

She drags me on, barking at those white-tailed bastards mocking her in the dark.

And I squeeze your hand back, and make a wish for us.

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