flesh 2

roy herndon smith

cruelty abides
unacknowledged in walls of
muscle, bone, and mind

the pet left alone
in the care of strangers who
put him down whimpers

unheard in the peace
of his owner’s detachment
until the calm breaks

and a silent howl
rises and falls in each breath
informing the flesh

crumbling into life
everlasting with the dog
and the weeping earth