Poetry and Prose by Wess Mongo Jolley

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Agent Rex

My dog is an anarchist
who slinks home at night
with shame dripping
from his muzzle.

His eyes have become hard
and glassy,
his coat tattered from midnight
desperate close range
combat training.

My dog is an anarchist
and no longer trusts his food.
He uses the cat
as his taste tester.
She doesn’t see the danger
so for now he lets her live.

My dog is an anarchist
who keeps coded lists
wrapped in plastic
and buried in
our houseplants.
My dog stares hatefully out the

window, waiting for secret signs,
messages hung in trees
(the tide has turned,
be ready,
you’ll know when
to get out).

My dog is an anarchist
and his collar has grown far
too tight.  It chokes him
when we walk.
He stays a pace behind now,
and his eyes never leave my thumping heels.

My dog is an anarchist
and I no longer trust his bark.
His plans are nefarious,
and had I the courage
I’d stop his dark wanderings.

I would not give in
to his threshold stares,
midnight plottings,
and the cold judgment
in his eyes.

My dog is an anarchist
and the cat and I know we live
only because we are still
of some use to him.
And we pray that, when
the revolution comes,

my dog will still love us enough
to lead us out of the city to safety.

     (First published in The Legendary, 2009)

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