• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

The Courser’s Tale

The weight of a small boulder is similar
to that of a dead dog. I have carried both.

You would think the boulder the heavier,
but you would be wrong, even for a whippet.

It depends on how much you loved the dog
but this is not important in the end;

what matters is how much the dog loved you.
How simple life is for lurcher or basenji –

find a voice, a scent, and dedicate your life to both.
Finding purpose, harder for a man:

first, cut out your heart and place it
in the aviary you have fashioned from the rib-

cage of an owl, then carry it, draped in hessian –
for the heart used to darkness startles easily –

to the lichen-orange rocks that hide the source
of your blood and release it.

Let it circle in the water-scented air until,
lost from sight, it makes its way home,

or slows its beat and drops, light as a finch,
into the braided stream to be discovered

by a man out walking, next to a submerged rock,
or a too-slow hound.