Project Description

Chuck in the Grass in the Afternoon

He is no kind of dog,
Chuck, a chihuahua,
blue and thinly furred—
my little friend,
more squirrel or rabbit,
more skittish and small,
trembling then calm
in the sunlight that he loves.

Can I call it love?

He seems happiest in the sun,
in the grass,
and when I walk to him,
he tilts over, brings his belly,
his chest into the light
for me to rub, and it’s so simple,
how I can add
to his contentment,
and so I do,
a few soft strokes,
a murmured,
there’s my sweet boy.

Donika Kelly

Donika Kelly is the author of the chapbook Aviarium (500 Places, 2017) and the full length collection Bestiary (Graywolf, 2016), winner of the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and long listed for the National Book Award.  She is an Assistant Professor at Baruch College, where she teaches creative writing.