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  • Writer's pictureAbigail Celoria

The Implication of Pet Names


1. HEEL


i see a future where i walk

through the door, and you are there

to take my shoes off and carry me

to the couch, where we exchange soft words

about our days. you run your hand along

my calf, your tone and your touch telling me

all i need to know.

i nuzzle into your chest,

you scratch my head,

and we breathe each other in after

so long apart.


2. SIT


i see a future where we eat

at the dinner table, noticing small silences

that grows louder the longer it takes us to

find something to say.

we are through with the table scraps—

i love yous,

i want yous—

and it’s only seemed to make us

more aware of starvation.

we throw out what treats we can

over scraping utensils.


3. SPEAK


i see a future where you yell

at me, and i return your fury, because

after all this time, i

am no less rabid.

we rage against each other until

torn skin and broken promises

litter the carpet.

later, we attempt

to lick each other’s wounds,

but the saliva

only makes them sting more.



4. PLAY DEAD


i see a future where you tell

me that no one else will cherish me

more, and i believe you,

so we conceal what we know to be true

behind wagging tails and puppy eyes

because we so desperately want to be loved,

both of us.

we yield to each other

like loyal dogs do,

suffering under a broken mastery—

this love.


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