In dreams, my dog speaks to me as a daughter (Daniel DeRock)

Last night I dreamed again

of my dog

daughter.

A girl of seven 

or four, her skin

sunburned. Ice

cream has spilled 

on her overalls. I ask her,

How?

and she says, 

Ask me instead what

I felt when you gave me

a name. Why

sea spray makes me

howl, how 

I knew first

your illness.

Ask me, please, 

to fetch the red 

frisbee again. 

This morning, my dog

is thirteen. There’s no

daughter. 

She watches me 

from her favorite sun

spot on the carpet, and 

I ask her,

Stay—

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Daniel DeRock is a writer from the Midwestern U.S. who lives in the Netherlands. He writes mainly fiction, but lately feels himself pulled toward poetry. His writing has appeared, among other outlets, in Pithead ChapelGone LawnLigeia MagazineThe Daily Drunk, and CLOVES Literary

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image: Jade Hawk is a meat popsicle