August

By ALEXEI TSVETKOV

 

apples went brown and sizzled on the ground
the instant they touched it and the vain promise
of autumn stayed just that the august was
interminable and the vet was blunt
a month at best he said and that was not
a promise so we farmed the ailing dog
out to the in-laws and just left him there

 

the dog was nothing much a foundling from
some shelter in ann arbor yet he served
our marriage as a mascot and we dreaded
to watch him die i visited the in-laws
on my way back from the big apple he
was all but gone already and his final
night on this earth we spent in the same bed
under the stars out on a creaky porch
under a constant drum-beat of the apples
hitting the ground in my wife’s father’s orchard
he was atremble entering the vast
terrain of nowhere it was so damn hot

 

our bedroom was facing the iwo jima
memorial where we used to walk him while
in better health there on a bench i tried
to calm her down there i consoled us both
as best i could while filing for divorce
a month at best the month was august which
was on its last allowance autumn came

 

 

Alexei Tsvetkov is a Russian poet and essayist with several published poetry collections to his credit. 

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August

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