to scout, and every last liar who said their dog toy was indestructible
by Katherine Clark
you don’t know how to love toothless
you’re all jaw,
too much fang,
a wound waiting.
when i give you my hands,
you hand them back
it’s still love if you bite down.
it’s still love if it bleeds.
it’s not your fault you have claws.
touching my face means leaving a scar and
i don’t know if your love is less or not
because i have to move away from it,
i’ve seen it, this love,
and what it’s done to rawhide,
rubber, that pair of chuck taylors
i’d had since ninth grade
(i still haven’t forgiven you)
i’ve seen you
with love in your mouth,
your rabid joy,
water, sleep, food
loses its hold on you
until you’ve destroyed it,
until i’ve picked the once was
off of the floor, out of the carpet
until something else takes you.
i get it,
all the things I’ve loved have teeth marks in them too.
About Katherine Clark
Katherine Clark is an English and Anthropology student at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She spends her free time listening to watch ticks and getting lost in gardens.