The new pup, made of rubber and silk
with a mouth like a barracuda
hiding in a velvet cove —
she’ll kiss you as readily as bite:
Though she knows that the gentle tongue
is tender, what matters most is coming to grips,
overcoming all the dogness and humanness
that stands between us
and yet makes us for each other.
Although they are different individuals —
this supple lass, and the ashes in the seagrass chest —
for every praise of one, there is an echo for the other —
when the little head pops up above my pillow,
looking at me with tiny shiny eyes of wonder,
as if in the night we had forgotten each other —
well, the old pup shared that charm.