A girl with braided hair buries
her face in the coat of her collie
after fighting with her father.
She's out on the porch. Her father was
the one who promised the collie and said
it would be sable.
The richness of the word belongs
to the girl. The bark and rust color
of the length of the body, the unblemished
snow strip of the neck.
She grows up and things begin to happen:
the young woman buries her dog. She's home
for a visit and chooses a spot in an old backyard,
and she doesn't wear black because it's only
a dog, really, and there's her father saying
no, he was like a person, he was part of us. Later
the older woman buries her father. Now
there's a perfectly allotted hole
in the ground. Somewhere,
a type of Slavic weasel walks into its own hole
and the dark of its fur merges with the dark
of the entered hollow.
The old woman out on the porch. Disconnected
from memory, from a color like ebony,
a dog chasing her around the house
in the morning, the single word
that stood for a single thing.
Sara D. Rivera is an interdisciplinary artist and writer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, now based in Boston. She holds a BFA in Art Studio and a BA in English from the University of New Mexico, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Boston University, and was awarded a 2013 Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry for travel in Ireland. Her artistic and literary practice includes visual art, music, performance, genre fiction, poetry, and Spanish/English translation. Her work has been featured in the Loft Anthology's Lay Bare the Canvas: New England Poets on Art, DIALOGIST, and Origins Literary Journal.