in the summer 보름, my dog, which means Harvest Moon, or brightest moon, as she was born on the harvest moon, gave birth to a litter.
i did everything i could to stop this. we didn’t have enough money to get surgery at the time, so i just had to keep my eye on her, as male dogs loiter round the farms. but our cleaner let her out one time, didn’t watch her & hey presto an unwanted litter. he was surprised that she didn’t listen to his command to stop, she is a good dog who always follows us;- this became his first experience of nature’s drive to procreate, & at the age of 66.
보름 didn’t cope well after the pregnancy, due to the summer being particularly gruelling. though i fed her properly, she still got calcium deficiency, which was scary as shit.
the whole litter but a couple died, & i was left with the depressing task of disposing of their little, mole like bodies each time. not a nice thing to do.
when i finally had the money to get surgery, 보름 kept jolting while under anesthetic, so she couldn’t have the surgery anyhow. she is menstruating again now, & i have her locked up in the porch of my house & when i let her out, she doesn’t leave my sight- fingers crossed for no puppies.
if you are wondering why she doesn’t live in the house with me, well that is simple, 보름 doesn’t like it, she is an outside dog.
death of her litter
amidst the smeared wet shit on new fur, womb fluids,
saliva & piss, the dried milk in blind mouths,
soft, pink gums that slip on their mothers seeping dugs,
pawing themselves, like shadows across rustic floors,
with their most functioning sense; their thalidomide
limbs not yet in working order. they resemble moles,
eyes fastened like the mouth of a woman’s purse,
mimic a gulls cry from a cliff, writhe like eels in a bath.
of the 8, 1 didn’t survive the big push out the womb.
i held it in my palm, white & pink, stiff, mouth agape,
tongue out; it looked so tired. i held that dead 1, too long,
got death all over my hands. death in my nose, but not a scent,
death in my throat but not a taste & too its presence without form.
i washed my hands with new soap, but nothing would come off,
even with water so hot it made the boiler rattle like a box of hammers.
i buried it, but as it had not even slept in the grass
dreaming the texture of meat, no meaningful words came. 보름
was unperturbed. next day. another died. she sniffed & licked
it same as that 1; i couldn’t tell if she knew. though when
i tried to take her iind pup, she yelped like a worm, leapt up me
in sad face; this one got disease in it, it had to be removed.
my wife tricked her with beef & kelp soup, all that iron
rich soup sent her into a REM stupor whilst we, like glue passing
through water, snatched that iind dead pup. 보름 had
a frenzied night, her reactions all too human, as if she’d failed,
misplaced it, mistakenly turned her back as it blindly crawled the dark.
we’re down to 5. i harshly snatched the iiird & buried it while 보름
watched, this time: she kept trying to carry it off in her jaws.
& i woke to No 4 the next morning & burned it with dead palm leaves.
i think something beyond us is preparing me for something.
they’ll not know the paradise of chasing pheasants through timothy
grass, the lazy naps on warm tiles, neither ruffled torsos
in the dawn of their nerves as they rollick & tumble; this tiresome
procedure of mothering must come to some good end for 4.
(photograph by me of 보름)