i.m. Jack, aka Bubbles, aka Mephistopheles
Before the women civilised the men,
the dogs civilised the women:
Now there’s a dog in all of us:
an eternal Shih Tzu –
rat-assed and Rabelaisian as I remember him leaping
the local chasm like it was a crack,
chasing a ball, or dunking his head in a trough
like he’d found the legendary Toilet Bowl
and asperging us with its liberal drops.
He’d hop a fence as soon as look at you,
sitting in his sun-coloured fur
we knew his surreptitious longings
dreamt of games – the vast rascal swathes
full of women and footballs –
a heart so wide open
it had to be sacred.
I imagine him now seated on a throne
in a plush flea-bitten robe, his tassels
wound up in a crown: the palace a heaven of yapping
and half-eaten slops, the divans
full of supine dogs waiting to be tickled, or dogs digging holes,
or humping, or a dog in a pothole, scratching itself,
or dogs lifting their legs, as I approach him
as I would a god or a sage.
Cocking his furry leg
he points out to me
the globe . . . allows the piddle
that is building in my groins
skitter-out like his
on the dry-balls of the world.
Since my nieces have come
Shiteing, snitching, scrounging, fighting,
jumping, belching, cursing the house
is heaven since my nieces have come.
Toting their play-pens and rompers
and doodled-on documents
into the open sesame
of the house.
They lead the way
into making the place
(now in frou-frous
and in lieu of what I’d gotten to hate)
conflagrating with lice,
knick-knacks, nitwits, ninjas,
nicotine, nipples, and nitroglycerine.
Kevin Cahill is a writer from Cork City. His poems have appeared in journals such as Agenda, Edinburgh Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Northwords Now, The Stinging Fly, and London Magazine. He is currently seeking a publisher for his first book of poems.