That dog springing for the plastic disk snapped from the skinny girl'swrist is so exquisitely focused he seems to stop time.There is no thought in his action I can see, no deliberation:he doesn't decide to jump, rather the leap carries him,I think, walking across the park. His fierce eyes,which are him now, lock on the spinning thing comprehensivelyas it hovers on its angled swoop, and they pull his whole bodyforward under it, shifting and slowing his pace till the last sprint andtakeoff headed precisely where the disk will be, the eyesnavigating every part of him against gravity. At the top of his leaphe has no purchase on the air and drops, wrenchinghis body off the very last ripple of inertiato seize it. I catch this only once— blond girl, red disk,spotted white dog— but carry it with me like a videoand slow it and replay it as the dog, I imagine, runs the disk back foranother toss, and another. Now it is no longer a video butan object I can revolve in my mind, a crystal glinting in endlesslyevolving facets. It is light, it is gleaming, it is not abstractbut it dips into possibilities, each with a thicket of consequences—what is it, what is it becoming as it floats and turnsin my thoughts? There is no gravity here, but I feelan urgency, something inevitably slipping away, though,suspended, it seems to have all the time in the world.My steps are balanced, I am setting a pace: my goal is the post office,but I carry this with me, slathered in words now, ridingthe two-beat rhythm of my steps, I am carrying it, revolving it,I am carrying it in my mouth.
Copyright © 2022 by Don Bogen.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Don Bogen is the author of five books of poetry, including Immediate Song (Milkweed Editions, 2019). His poems have appeared recently in The Yale Review, Agni, and other journals. An emeritus professor at the University of Cincinnati, he splits his time between Cincinnati and Martinez, California. More at www.donbogen.com.
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