the moon hung pregnant

I

the moon hangs
pregnant
like a pause in conversation
in which the wrong thing
is said
at too loud a.volume

he was the king
of doing that
it didn’t help
he was usually
the loudest
any way

i watched him
the world taking on an eerie
slowed down pitch
we were outside
telling lies
we pretended to believe

the dog came from
out of the unmanicured bushes
that separated
yard from street
a look of madness
in its eyes

II.

i am not sure
i could have warned him in time
my tongue felt stapled
to the roof of my mouth
as it all
unfolded before me

part of me
wanted to see what would happen
would the dog
bite him
as it seemed to me
to be its intent

III.

when i was young
i had an air rifle
that shot copper bearings
i only ever hit a bird once
and found myself
nearly inconsolable

i went deer hunting
after practicing with a bow
all summer
standing in the tree
with deer urine on my vest
and the cold biting my nose

i never took a proper shot
though the buck
stood magnificently
the early morning sun played off
his antlers as he
sniffed the air for danger

IV.

he was gesticulating wildly
the drink
the smoke
the adrenaline
carrying his tale
to its crescendo

he was clueless to the danger
as if the dog was soaked
in his urine
nocked arrow pointed at his heart
through the glorious chestnut fur
as the snows began to fall

V.

i don’t know
if the dog found his lies
on the clear evening
with the pregnant moon
to be one insult
too far

but it snapped forward
with foam flecked lips
pulled back in a rictus of anger
that made me fearful
but still
i sat inert

one of the three of us
let loose a nightly howl
maybe all three of us
growled in
the same moment
i couldn’t tell you

but with one bite
the pointingly offensive digits
were gone
as a spray of red that was black
beneath the moon
hit the patio floor

VI.

i let that one arrow loose
at the majestic creature it ineffectually wobbled
before bouncing harmlessly
off of the noble buck’s back
as it took off

i didn’t lash out
at the ravenous mongrel either
as it ran off
with three fingers
maybe a little palm as well
in its slobbery maw

VII.

the moon hung high
but large and looming
to seem near enough to touch
in all of its
pregnant glory
above us

the paramedics took him
to get stitches
as the police prepared a dog hunt
and i just watched
the moon in the blood
on the ground by my feet

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