Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pit Bulls

The tall fence does not exist
when I vault over it, Dollar Store laundry basket in tow, 
and land, undetected, in Nike chanclas,
basketball shorts, and a mushroom head of dust 
(at 6:38 a.m. on a Saturday in May 2008; 
the sun, giant orb, already 
blaring on top of this raggedy backyard 
on the near Westside of town, jeopardizing our intent).

And huffing (Fuckin hurry, Joe), while accounting for 
seven of what once had been nine pups, 
my lover hoisted the rickety black bed-liner of a truck, which 
had served as a purported shelter for the dogs 
(safely in our possession, we already had the mama pit; 
after a week of feeding her on the sly (cruelly, she’d been
tied to this fence, the chokehold of a rope tether cutting deeply
into her neck flesh;  hence, the seventeen unanswered calls to city
animal control, the emails shot to the news stations regarding
animal cruelty and neglect, the famous councilwoman’s
special request after viewing the skin and bones of cruelty 
revealed by the disturbing pics I forwarded), the owner had 
moved her tie, so that the dog couldn’t, even with the most 
formidable efforts of her neck muscle, reach the food and water
bowls we’d stashed for her in the overgrown alley
(GOD BLESS YOU, a handwritten sign left behind 
on a discarded food wrapper placed beside a mound 
of her vomit had read the day prior)
warily, the dog feasted on kibble and regurgitated 
a mush of what her twenty-two pound frame couldn’t manage,
and frequently, she peered upward, contemplating
perhaps the fates of her seven remaining babies 
not to mention the intents of these two bald, 
tattooed men who were either saving or pilfering 
her offspring while fending off, with daily advocacy
and early morning fence-jumping, 
her own imminent death by starvation), firmly
over my 5‘7” shoulders, so that I could pluck each
flea-infested pup, bellies rotund, and eyes squeezed shut, 
placing each tiny body in the tightened 
confines of this white, plastic receptacle 
functioning, now, with a bath towel, as a makeshift crib, 
the whole time thinking to myself:  Maybe they’re gonna wake up
suddenly and think I’m jacking their
commodities (the rest of us know as pups) and 

shoot my ass dead.  How would KSAT 12 report
that shit?  Fuck.  Almost missed one.  There in the corner
by that old-ass, upturned sofa, and throughout the day,
I keep creeping back, peering apprehensively through slats in
the wood of our fence to see if I could locate 
the two pups we’d counted previously, 
which now were vanished.  Later, we decided
to call this brave one Monster due to his gargantuan size 
and this white-headed one Ling-Ling,
because of her Mestiza eyes, 
this one Lil Sid with his pronounced dome head and 
then Sweet P. and Rat, Big Cooter, and finally, Krunk Lil Evaine.  
The mama bully we named Kimora, and one night,
while my lover slept, she crept her slight frame up onto 
the hueco of our bed, nuzzled up child-like 
between his chest and mine and sighed (a hard-ass, hard-life sigh);
I knew then we’d keep her as our own.  

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