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The dog this morning found a rabbit’s entrails
in the grass, just feet from the house and the first porch step.
Her nose was wet with viscera and blood
by the time she raised her face toward mine, tail

wagging in celebration. The grayish pale
of the rabbit’s stomach glittered as all the woods
around us took up the festival dawn. I kept
on shouting to the dog to drop it, but failed

to have any real effect on her intentions,
which were vague, to be sure, but manifold
in their possibilities—an open door

of iron and hunger, something beyond the cold
anteroom of death, that base invention
of those who’ve confused keeping time with keeping score.

Nathaniel Perry

Nathaniel Perry is the author of two books of poetry, Nine Acres (APR/Copper Canyon, 2011) and Long Rules (Backwaters, 2021).  He teaches at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.