What It Is

It is not what,
carrying that
afterthought of legs,
he runs to, and not
what his interrogative, foldy
face detects
on the floor, because
it is always changing, always
turning out to be
some other bug
or bush his nose wanted,
leaving his tail
smoldering
behind, and
it is never,
after all that scratching
and lifting of leg,
enough; not even
after he joins
the dinner party, smiling
upside-down
and rolling
his testicles, not even
in his whimpering sleep,
dreaming in the tips
of his paws
that he is chasing
it, that very thing
which, scratching,
he can’t quite
reach, nor sniffing find,
because in the perfect
brainlessness of dog,
he will never know
what it is.

-Wesley McNair