I am a homosexual with three pet dogs.
One came home with my mom from work;
the front leg already broken and amputated.
A mystery shih-tzu, large for her breed,
now hops through my house many years later
arthritis, cataracts, and rotten teeth.
She may never die, may she never die;
her crooked spine and visible ribs
may make her whine and snore,
but every guest loves her novelty.
The next is mine, a beagle from
a large puppy mill, who did not know
grass, ceiling fans, or people.
She craves love almost as much as food.
Spayed too soon she filled out fatter
than her hips could always move.
She cannot jump into my high bed.
She is soft and my hands will pet at her
as she trembles to lick my skin.
She is patient and kind, but steals
socks and the other dogs' food;
What favorites for good behavior often do.
The last followed me home on a sweaty summer hike.
Her breed was unknown, exotic and new to me
with shining black fur and golden eyes blinking.
I closed my front door on her that day
Left her on the porch with water to drink.
But she found her way in through the back door,
somehow, and greeted me like she already loved me.
Her actions are strange, she gets excited by guests
but will cuddle up warm at feet in the night.
She is still not mine though, and between
the beagle and she (a Manchester terrier)
competition breeds. When I am there,
neither seems to see the other existing.
But when I leave for trips the beagle seems
more hurt at my leaving. The terrier cleans her
eyes while she licks at the cataracts of the old woman.
The terrier is more beautiful to me but the beagle
sleeps in my room, in her cage, snoring.
I feel unfaithful;I must remember
not to treat my dogs like men
or my men like dogs.