The Dog Who Barks at Not-Me

This morning a brown dog behind a white fence saw me and prepared to bark. But before speaking he turned his head the other way, so that he barked, deliberately and distinctly,
at not-me.

This prepared me for an epiphany that never came ― that the world’s gifts were meant for not-me after all, that my accepting hands and nods of gratitude were a charade, the motions of a surplus self-indulgence. But the wind pressing lightly and a row of double-daffodils nodding yellowly were pressing and nodding catholically, embodying their souls regardless of who might be present.

Imagine if your own self were so persistent ― identically complete before the incumbent mayor and a five-year-old child and your brown-eyed lover. What would it avail us? I say it would avail us wholeness enshrouded in a deep, deep stillness. A new universe, decidedly not-human, decidedly not-me.