Last Communion of an Island Dog

I died today or yesterday of fleas and famine – sooner both,

but consciousness and hunger haunt my rest.

I fought life hard, bore countless pups, though none would know me now,

And ran tantivy with my gang, now mostly gone.

Today, I hop three-legged door-to-door, my fourth snapped by a motorbike when I was young, a mangled stilt I always wanted gone.

Like cleats my dry dugs wither in the sun.

I lean against a wall or splay on restaurant floors in hopes of table scraps, kind words and touch.

New fingers rub behind my ears, massage the cartilage below, and gently rub the wetness of my nose. My tongue lolls in the sand.

The words elude me, though I recognize their lilt.

A stale wafer used to wipe a plate is settled on my tongue that I might die in grace, as consciousness and hunger ebb.

Bill Schubart – March 2018, Las Galleras D.R.

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