The suburbs: A poem

Person walking dog in front of a house
Chi Park/Staff

some dog just took a shit on our lawn
no, not the patch of grass by the tree
our lawn
no, I don’t know whose dog it is
they must feed their pets like they’re goddamn kings
the point is there’s a pile of shit on our lawn
please, will you at least help me clean it up

it doesn’t matter whose mess it was originally
I can patronize the criminal, be a vigilante with red tape
red hands
I can wait here
with or without you
until the dog comes back for more
I have words to deliver to the owner
about doing his part about paying his rent
it’s been three days and there’s no dog
but there’s more shit
and it’s your dog and it’s my lawn
and it’s your hands that reek of blood and fresh-cut grass
I’ve caked my palms with dirt
plastic could not shield my touch from spoil
garbage cans don’t make dog shit disappear
we pile it on top of food we knew we wouldn’t eat and clothes
that you only wore twice
we bury it under books we only bought to throw on coffee tables
under photographs you refused to pose for …

Contact Sarena Kuhn at [email protected].

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