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As I Kissed Frankie on the Mouth

by Elizabeth Rees


I couldn’t help thinking about Rufus,
barely seven months old, a baby
alone in a cage, cold, stinging
from the knife, his crotch a battle
of stitches, poor baby.
Kathy, the vet’s girlfriend, assured me
she’d propped his favorite bone-shaped
fleece under his head. She said he was fine.
Frankie’s tongue started up a teasing
staccato of shivers down my spine.
Poor Rufus, never to feel that perfect, final thrust.
Kathy said, This one client comes in with his dog,
just weeping, and we figure he’s beside himself
because he has to put down his dog.
But he’s just there to get the dog fixed.

I fixed my eyes on Frankie, and pulled
his hips into mine. It’s something
about men,
Kathy said, like it’s happening
to them, you can picture them grabbing
their own balls in sympathy.
Rufus wasn’t
his dog, so Frankie kept kissing me.
But all I could taste was brine, grieving
for what Rufus would
never get or give. Poor dog.

 

Elizabeth Rees’s most recent chapbook, Tilting Gravity, won the 2009 Codhill Press Chapbook Award. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, The Partisan Review, Artful Dodge, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. (updated 4/2014)


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