The cod skins accounted for the stench,
which I knew, though I didn’t remove them.
“I’ll have to dispose of those fish,”
I told myself, day two,
The third afternoon, the skins transcended
into an olfactory veneer that made me
lightheaded. “Have some respect,”
I said. “Don’t be heroic,
I met a Pomeranian, then, yapping at my step.
“Too late,” I told it. “The cod is bagged.
I’d bag you, too, if I wanted.”
It bounded at my heels
like the grease
when I fried the filets.
I’d compare the pest to my ex-wife,
but she died; and my current wife
has separated (from me) bodily
into an alternate social ether,
more akin to carbon
than a punky dog.
I’d compare it to Cobain’s hair or Warhol’s wig,
but Kurt and Andy have also passed
while the Pomeranian is vivaciously
wedging its pig-face through
my cracked door
as I take the trash
sack to the alley.
In its excitement, I’m sure the Pom will piss and retch
everywhere, as dogs do—the way my son used to
as an infant. I’ll coax it back
by extracting the skins
and flattening them
on the doormat.
– Thomas McCafferty