Linda Dove
In Defense of Objects
by Linda Dove

Winner of the 2009 Dorothy Brunsman Poetry Contest

ISBN 9780979374548
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The Dog from Pompei
           sculptural installation by Allan McCollum, 1991

Fate replicates. The chained dog of ancient Pompeii, caught
           on his back, writhing in his collar against the tile floor
swept with ash, is now many dogs, all their fours in the air.

It's as if the one dog, the main attraction, turns in the dessert case
           of meringue pie, rotates his hindquarters, his open mouth,
spinning all sides of himself past that August afternoon. He is back

in motion, freeze-framed on long tables, back to the contortionist
           he became when the volcano blew, when the people
of his house ran past him into the street, holding hands. He hated that

collar, its thick leather rib such a nuisance when the need to run
           reawakens. Now body after body drains of color, ghost-meats
that ask you what to do about such a thing as thisŸthe domestic cast

as the heavy, the sort of weight you might carry around in a bad year,
           like footed moons. When ash smothered the body / bodies,
legs twisted upright in nursery beds, row after row of double helix.

© 2009 by Linda Dove, In Defense of Objects