Last month my dog
ate a black licorice nib
of a caterpillar. He gagged once,
and then went on his business
sniffing leaves and weeds.
Three weeks ago
an iridescent dander appeared
on his bed, as if a woman
had dusted it with her
blue mascara brush. He left faint blue
paw prints around his water bowl.
Two weeks ago, I noticed
his tongue was now a pink jellyroll
under his chin. He licked every flower
we passed, and bacon no longer
held its old magic for him.
One week ago,
as he clambered out of
bed in the morning, two
spider-thread thin wings
blossomed from his shoulders,
unfolding as he shook himself
like he had just emerged from a pond.
Tonight, on our evening walk,
he circled my head, his leash holding him
to me as if he were a rock I was about to throw
at some invisible Goliath., and pee'd on
the tree's branches instead of its trunk.
Now, he bumps gently against the window
with fluttering wings and scrambling paws.
It is the moon that pulls at him, I know.
And now I wonder, do I let him go?

Michael Gerleman is a teacher in South Texas.
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