In the Teeth of Easter

“Save me…from the power of the dog.”
from Psalm 22

There must have been dogs
circling you, Christ, as you hung on the cross,
wild dogs drawn in by the stench
of death.
They moved slowly along the edges
of the crowd, their mouths drooling
at the prospect of warm human flesh.

But maybe I’m supposed to take this
metaphorically—save me from that raw instinct
that drives me to eat garbage,
to roll in the dead,
to fuck whoever I can.
Every day, I’m drawn
into this dog-eat-dog world.
I’m down on all fours, howling
at cars driving outside my fence.
I’m licking myself raw.

Turn me away, Lord, from eating the dead sparrow
on the front lawn. Lift me up on my own two feet,
and push my face away from the crotches of strangers.
Give me a clear voice to bark out
your greatness, your undying love,
to every wag
I meet.