Watch Dog

War is Over, Ernest Volynec

Today’s spent echoing the beagle
as I keep watch from the window,
assessing each speck of land of this
place called home or territory or
memory, each plot of maple, juniper,
japanese plum, the latest implant that
never took and the wisest, sickest trunk
of them all. When she’s inside, she
tries to dig. When she’s outside,
she digs and digs and digs and I want to
hold her close, to know what it is
she searches for so ravenously.
She gets a blow dry after showers,
the pasta sauce beef, a nice long
leash of freedom, and she’s getting
older, too. Who says she can’t have
it all? Who says she can’t have the one
glorious litter with not a single heartworm,
stillborn, Volvo hit, or worse, the neighbor
kid claiming the runt as his own, as if she
hadn’t already carried and licked the babe?
Myself, I’ve always been short on
the wanting, once in junior high at the
round barn dance next to a boy I can’t
quite remember, now in the rested
hankerings of making up and out and
again when I tell Bingo: Turn away.
She’s yowling at the cicada killer
as it body slams its hard-won corpse,
over and over towards the tinted glass,
the wings of the prey still folded, inert,
so absent of the clumsy quiver, the signature
move to announce to the world: I’m hungry,
I’m fighting, I’m in it to win.

About the Author

Patricia Liu · Harvard College

Patricia Liu is a recent graduate of Harvard College, where she studied English and East Asian Studies. Her work has appeared in POETRY, The Cincinnati Review, The Colorado Review, and The Adroit Journal. She is originally from Oklahoma, and currently resides in Washington, DC. This piece first appeared in The Adroit Journal

About the Artist

Ernest Volynec 

“War is Over” first appeared in Persephone’s Daughters. This piece was first featured in plain china in 2018.

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