POEM: Feral dogs

They run in packs like feral dogs, not wild, not tame,

a lingering scent of civilization on them, ancient granaries,

numbers for counting, temple hymns and then epic poems

and Shakespeare and HBO. Indoors, they might lie

on the couch, eat out of a bowl, answer to a cute name and submit

to a collar with a leash, but outdoors, in the night,

they forget any touch of softness, any touch that isn’t

bared teeth. Wolves only dominate and submit in cold,

concrete cages, but these are not wolves. Hierarchy is bred

in their genes, in their weak hip joints, their shortened muzzles,

their running eyes. And the prey they take is anything that

isn’t pack, doesn’t smell of their sores and neuroses. That

long-legged beast with white fur prefers the flesh of tender

brown children, calls them thugs and monsters as it rips out

their throats, leaps from behind and then whines with fear

over the dead bodies. That male dog pissing everywhere,

balls nearly dragging the ground, sniffs women and humps

them, hilarious, harmless, before it rapes them to death.

The alpha male and alpha bitch, purebred once when

it mattered, in a Victorian living room, hunt “trannies” and “fags”,

shred off clothes and makeup to reveal the most vulnerable

parts, snarl and snuffle over the genital wound, the lie

in the flesh. But what one dog brings down, all the pack

will eat, joyful with rage and hunger: Another cunt, another

nigger, another faggot, another tranny, another queer, another

Muslim, another witch, all of them rightful prey to the pack

that is racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, hatred,

bigotry, prejudice, fear, greed, the feral dog howling in the heart.