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he is not her great pyrenees (II)

by Eli Skipp

for serious every boy she's ever loved has been a dog -- this one trembles beaten,
this one, her un-bobbed doberman, bites the same -- and she has
tried and backed away from fearful guard-dog rottweilers, from over-loyal
junkyard mutts who wear the same musty fur day after day after day and
grow callouses on their joints from sleeping on concrete, and what is he?
too dark to be her great pyrenees, too disjointed to be her saint bernard,
and what is he?

he sits and waits as if upon the nightstand by the window, rolling
cigarettes and rolling cigarettes and watching for her pit-patter, and for
three months he sits and waits with dreams for who she is and who she could
be and what she could potentially mean. like false confidence, his
excitement is displaced: idealized. that is to say, she is NOT.

it is funny to define someone as "not." by "not's" or "have not's" or
"knots," and

he is not her great pyrenees.

he could not even be her bulldog or pit-dog or lap-dog. perhaps he is her
retired grey-hound whippet with a brindled coat, tiger-striped and
inquisitive and with an unintelligible, intelligent face, waiting by the
window and hoping she'll come home and being surprised when she still
does, waiting by the window and hoping she'll never even shows up,
hoping she will sleep in his bed and eventually be engulfed and make him
feel full. he needs this weight in his belly. he needs this steadying keel
between his disproportionate haunches, his cavernous ribs.


Author's Note: fixed the old one a bit. it's more succint. still not too happy. Apparently I'm on the top-rated list now which makes me both extremely happy and extremely sad. Why for? Because I've never really liked this poem, and my more recent and brand new fancy submissing, "since pitbulls are illegal in dade county" makes me much happier than this one. Still, thanks all.

Posted on 12/11/2008
Copyright © 2022 Eli Skipp

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Meghan Helmich on 12/11/08 at 04:06 PM

oh how can you not be happy with this? i'm putting this on my favorites. what a fantastic metaphor...i'm having trouble putting it into words.

a few spelling/grammatical errors you might want to revise. but man, it doesn't even detract from the piece. i love this!

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/11/08 at 04:23 PM

Great piece. I came into this thinking mountains and was delighted to find dogs - ;). Love the metaphor.

Posted by Jared Fladeland on 12/12/08 at 02:47 AM

it's funny because my inlaws have a great pyrenees. they are an amazing guard dog, although not very vicious in all reality. my favorite though is the tiny little bit you throw in in the middle about how odd it is to define someone by what they are not. it resonated with me. i like the rest of it because i think you've found an interesting way of presenting love, but that one little stanza just keeps pulling me in.

Posted by Scott Utley on 12/16/08 at 11:14 PM

ah, so this is the future!

Posted by Mo Couts on 03/29/12 at 04:54 PM

I *LOVE* this. What a word choice!

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