The dog has wet the bed again,
an act of dominance,
not an accident.
She sees closed doors as accusation,
waits until I am bathing.
I am strong she says,
squats over the center of fresh sheets.

Friends say pin her down,
and don’t hurt her.
It’s for her own good, they say,
for the good of your bed.

I must get on her level,
hold snout to carpet,
say I am in charge,
you are not in charge,
I am in charge,
you are not in charge,
I am in charge,
you are not in charge,
I am in charge,
I am in charge.

SCARLETT PETERSON is a Georgia native who received her B.A. in English and professional writing from Kennesaw State University. She’s currently working on an M.F.A. in poetry at Georgia College. She is editor in chief of Exhume Literary Magazine, and an assistant editor of poetry for Arts and Letters. Her poetry has appeared or is upcoming in Five2One, Serendipity, Pennsylvania English, Ink and Nebula, FRiGG, 8-West Press, The Magnolia Review, Moon City Review, and Fire Poetry. Her nonfiction has appeared in Pamoja, Madcap Review, and Counterclock Journal.

  • Tabs open on your screen right now:
    An image of “Frau mit totem Kind” (Woman with dead child), a painting housed at The British Museum that I keep meaning to write a poem about, Google Drive, which is where I always do my writing, and Duotrope.

  • Your sign:
    I’m a libra sun, virgo rising, gemini moon!

  • Sweetest thing:
    Happy queer people.

  • Your rituals (writing or not):
    Tea before bed with my girlfriend while I sit in the bath. It’s my favorite nightly ritual.

  • Favorite space to write:
    During a sermon or lecture that bores me.