1994, A Dog Called Sappho

Amanda Joy

“The blue colour wasn’t easy to remove.
The night came  - colour killer –“
                                                                   ~ Nina Cassian, Vacation

Later, I would carry rope
in case a ranger chased us
But then I would clap and yell
“Go home, Get” and she would slink
behind a bush or letterbox,    wait.
Cattle dog cross, an ex lover’s, not mine
“There’s a dog following you”
people would stop me and I’d turn
to nothing           but she was there
Dogs are known to sense ambush
hours or months ahead 
She had scented survivor’s bones
still in my stalked body, my wounds
trailing like raw meat behind me

Later, we would run together
our pack formed the night I had
stopped sensing malice, emptied 
and goodbyed as the street 
of warehouses they thought I was
cornered in, where she invisibly
padded shadow through squares 
of black and grey, unseen as I declined
a ride from the voice in the darkened 
car. She must have seen it roll 
forward, flared as brake lights
red eyed the night. Fast as the back 
door cracked open she slammed
and thrashed hard against metal
her frenzied shrieks prehistoric 
and terrifying, immense wreckage 
of the predator’s made mind
and the car was gone.

She and I sprinted, wilder and darker
away from the road, through trees
home. My eternal and irretrievable 
saviour, memory of fierce white 
teeth against the amnesiac dark
shuddered and broken, again
and again. I wish she had got hold 
of his throat.

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