“Of a certainty the man who can see all creatures in himself, himself in all creatures knows no sorrow.” The Upanishads
His fur is ruthenium gray,
lanced with stripes of silver.
He bears his musculature on erect legs
knowing not how to slouch or hide his true self.
The eyes, also gray, with sunburst yellow
are hooded by sad lids,
yet there is no fear.
The fur and skin about the face
in a fury of furrow and folds
hang majestically in a joyful dewlap.
Ears project sideways, level, traversing outward
then fold down in little awnings under the rain.
He walks on tendons protruding
like Rodin’s Achilles.
Muscles burst from his chest and thighs
as he rises up to greet me.
With rest he meditates like the dawn.
With sound his frame tenses to the faintest octaves.
The broad, square snout consumes his fact-finding
sensitive to those deviant and renegade scents,
yet wallowing in the spacious arms of familiar smells,
never disgusted or deterred
by the array that line collection stalls in his memory
like upright stacks of colored crayons.
He battles the army hidden around him
Eyes focusing their limited gaze as he prances
on padded paws
reminiscent of ape’s palms.
A stump-tail amputated at birth
tells the story of his fortune and dreams.
He sees the snow outside
as he gnaws on the calloused rawhide.
The door opens.
Clusters of snow add silver to his coat.
He elevates his tongue to a falling snowflake
as the icy drop and his image both dissolve.