AMBULANCE RHAPSODY

CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS

I am in dialogue with the dogs on my commute:

the gentle golden, with a coat of tawny fur
the trembling dachshund, nestled in a leather bag
the dopey mutt, with a wet happy snout

“take me home,”
they all say: “I would be
so much happier with you”

this, I know

but
I am not currently in a position
where I can keep a dog

instead
I am in a big city
in a tiny space,
and I draw pictures of dogs in funny hats

I miss my dog

so I scroll through my mother’s Facebook
and the photos of my dog from his life
that continues without me:

Arthur, in a strapping Christmas sweater
Arthur, in a patch of grassy elm, weaving through the trees
Arthur, his jeweled teeth, tearing through rawhide

feeding him reminds me I must eat

in the kitchen late at night i steal away
to dine from my trough

on my hands and knees
I peel back the flesh of a fruit,
revealing the unholy pit

how curious is
his voracious hunger for life,
my listless withdrawal

oh, to be blessed
with the intuition of a dog

instead,
cursed to milk steadily the sound of an ambulance,
blaring and wild at first,
fading to a point where it is no longer audible –

a sad, sad game of telephone

after my feeding hour,
I return to my crate and pray:

be still, be still
my anatomical heart

CHARLOTTE WILLIAMS is a recent graduate in poetry at The New School, and her work can be seen in Eleven and a Half Literary Magazine. She lives in Ridgewood, Queens.