The Sundogs

They tear up my poems when I come too near.

The biggest ones kill everything as though everything is meat. They run in packs, they are unduckable.

The little ones in training use dewclaws. They are practicing rudeness, boos.

Last are the medium sun dogs, who lick up the gristle.

I want the sun dogs to die.

They try to follow me home, widening their yellowish eyes to appear less dangerous.

They smell poems on my clothes.

To trick the sun dogs, I take different routes, enter different apartment buildings,
wait for hours in strange lobbies, sneak home through the alleys, set booby traps behind me all the way. Ha!

At home, my poems recognize the traces of a struggle and are wary.

The sun dogs want this poem very much. Back in their thorny, bone-littered lair many new pups want poem-milk.

When I die, the sun dogs will starve. But before that, my poems will devour my body.

Sara Wainscott has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Washington. Currently she lives in Chicago and teaches writing. Most recently, her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Columbia Poetry Review, the Ohio State Journal, and Poetry Northwest.