Baptisms

Suzi Mezei

At the pound,		a last minute reprieve.
Emancipated from concrete cells,
their executioner left idle,
the dogs fill my daughter’s arms;
a reeking bustle of ebullient commotion.
The human world bears its teeth in those places,
death’s not kind but convenient. And had they succumbed
I would not be at the sink, waterlogged, hectic,		at last woken
from my own long stupor 

by barks like bullets that shatter numbness,
my lathered hands desperate to dissolve
the clumps of bad history
that stick to them like spat gum.		Warm water and avocado shampoo
amok on the laundry tiles,
we fold our hounds into the soft of hide	of faded towels,
into our pack, where they talk and talk,
until it’s my turn
and thus  therapy begins.

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