For the Lost Boys

A milky-eyed dog yips in dreams. Gray muzzle, matted hair, a limp his medal of heroic dog battles with buses and postman shoes. A tattered tail batons a medley of insect song on a shotgun house’s back porch. A brave dog, he fought to acquire important dog things: squirrel tartare, whisker of cat, abundant fornication; his boy’s gentle hand only a wag away. Things happen to young black boys at the bottom of this place. An education stands no shield when drunken blood sport bullets by with the flash of a gang sign, a chain’s sharp edges, and a singing Mac10 to obliterate a face. Banded black arms strain against the pull of brass handles bolted into wood. A mother’s legs give way, and she must be carried to her chair. The raw earth beneath the mourners’ feet is covered with a cape of green. The future of a family is buried in Reverend Gray’s churchyard as an old dog waits at home. Blind, the dog points his nose to the crowd shuffling into the empty house searching for the scent of a boy who will never become a man.

originally published in The Legendary October, 2011.


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