I killed a feral dog.
Dog I knew.
Dog I loved.
I killed him from atop my back porch.
Slouched and secret,
stooped on that steady redwood beam,
I lifted sight and trigger pulled.
The redwood rail, newly stained
proffered fixed foundation to my elbow,
steadied barrel and black hole end,
last image burned upon his retina.
My delivered touch of metal slug
pierced flesh and severed life
ceasing what surge there was of disease
what verities of thought, touch, or feel remained.
Rabid sound and shout, growl and whine,
Best friend, once of me but bought and broken.
Why did you change?
How did you forget the touch of Master - and -
where in the woods await the
advent of my alteration?
Where the diseased teeth,
the creature in shadowed pursuit
with power to remove my humanity,
send me to descend, to forget what purchase
what hold I had atop the redwood stairs?
What did you see, my former friend?
Who is my enemy, the source of your fall?
The feral is silent,
his secret hidden like the bullet from my gun.