If you were a stray dog, I’d be your home.
But you have a home.
So I can only feed you from time-to-time
with my affection.
You seem to be hungry.
But you’re well kept, clearly unneutered,
and smell really quite wonderful.
But where is your collar? Where are your tags?
You come to me with leash in mouth,
not tethered to neck.
We play together with the abandon
of two souls dangling from the moon
not caring if we are in web or pond-
and each time, I swear I discover a new star,
a new height to reach to.
And yet you return time and time again
to the same yard you wandered from,
to the same pole untethered.
I don’t know what’s over there
and don’t ask.
I get concerned when you return to me
different from how you left.
Ruffled, bewildered, a little lost.
But soon you settle in,
tail again wagging.
To me, you always find your way.
It seems you know my gate is open,
and this is true.
I may even install a doggy door
no doorbell required, just for you.
But is it my hand you prefer?
Is it my food? My bed?
You trot alongside me, my long lost pal,
as if we’ve been walking together forever.
I already know the games you like
because they are the same games I play.
I cherish the grandiosity of your dreams
because I too dream big.
I know you like to lie by my bedside
and lick my feet-
I like this too.
But I don’t know, dear companion-
I have to tell you, I really don’t want to own you.
Do you want me to hold your leash?
Cuz I’d rather walk side-by-side.
You in front and me behind,
then you behind and me in front.
I already want to go where you want to go.
You needn’t seek my approval.
It’s the unspoken truth in our meetings
week after week, month after month.
But I love how you howl at the moonlight-
finally someone to be unhinged with!
I find your fur to be so beautiful,
the many tones,
a reflection of you.
Which is why I caress you all over.
It’s really not because I want to please you
and ensnare you back for more.
I want to rub my face in your hair
because its bristles make me lovesick.
Your tail wags and I giggle;
and you allow it to brush my feet,
knowing how it makes my heart jump!
I’ve never had a friend like you,
who is simply finding me in time and space
to find a way to play together.
I see now what they mean:
“puppy dog eyes” don’t ask for a thing,
just a little patience, and always adoring.
You know, I’d like for you to come live with me,
be my prime interloper, my de facto companion.
But is it ownership you require?
(Is that what I am lacking?)
Or is it love?
I can offer only one of the two.
And I already love you.
But what if we decide to play together always?
Would I require something from you?
Even though my testament says that we are strictly free,
I don’t know, you’ve kind of got me wondering
what it might be like.
It’s okay, you need not decide now.
Even though you seem to be mine already,
really I am a little scared.
I am a little shy to ask.
I can’t offer you my home because you already have one.
And I want you to know that you are free.
All I’ve got is our cherished moments,
the precious days when I find you seeking my love.
And although these days become closer and closer together,
the in-betweens sometimes garner doubt
from my faithful heart.
When my thinking bud opens,
I can’t help but wonder
what will happen
if I start to need you.
I never wanted a dog before,
but things change.