“Canine” by Nathan Blan

Only three teeth remaining
what can be done
sooner or later
even those three
will be gone
broken into fragments
some of which
will be swallowed

this very hour
a new loss discovered
by my tongue
the serrated remains
of my former fourth tooth
a jagged blade rooted
into my jawbone
my tongue scraped
against it
as I sang to myself
while mending
the right knee
of my Sunday

oh my teeth
so small
but enough to remind
of my place
in the universe
so much
that I can foresee
myself dying
in a room
with broken windows
no door
in its frame
through which
an unwanted dog
has entered
to get out of the rain

and the dog
bears witness
to my whistled
final breath
before sniffing
my cold and dirty
hand and feeling
that hunger
is hunger
and meat
is meat

Nathan Blan is thirty-nine years old and lives in Kentucky with his sister, two nieces, four cats, and a dog. His goal in life is to get the hell out of the Bluegrass State.