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   u n d e r g r o u n d    f e n c e

--- J A M E S   H O C H

You can see it on the face of a black lab shaking his head, as if he can't believe the new fangled device stocking his neck, puritanical, electric,

a twentieth century collar which delivers a charge, not enough to kill or inflict a visible wound, only a few volts, temporary they say, for its own good as they stake

a perimeter of flags, something he might remember when a bird or cat or child parades by, a voice prodding: No. Stay. A jolt to say: Boundary, Property-

A kind of knowledge, the desperate way he waits by the fence, peering out/in, hunger/ affection, as if readying to receive a word, a hand, the next

sentence, as if about to leap into a bog of cranberries.

© crossconnect, inc 1995-2004 |
published in association with the |
university of pennsylvania's kelly writers house |