by Patty Paine

Cars murmur along
a back road, and the eyes
of animals leap into headlights.
Who would blame you, there
in the dark’s pulsing
silence, for believing
we’ll always rise from sleep, always
head one way, then back
the other? And when 
dogs string a necklace of howls,
how not to hope
the sound they weave makes each
less alone, less afraid. Is it shameful
to breath sentiment into the moon’s
gauze light, to want
the wind’s hands to caress
your hair? To be filled,
with a joy so clean
it’s almost unbearable.

Patty Paine is the author of Grief & Other Animals (Accents Publishing), The Sounding Machine (Accents Publishing), and three chapbooks. She edited Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry and The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf. Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Blackbird, Adroit, Gulf Stream, Waxwing, Thrush, The South Dakota Review, and other publications. She is the founding editor of Diode Poetry Journal, and Diode Editions, and is Director of Liberal Arts & Sciences at VCUarts Qatar. 


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