Sleeping, but not with the enemy…


The weight of the dog is a welcome weight, thrown across my thighs, waking me in the morning, or crashed on my chest, the warm dog tongue in my ear: every morning the dog face saying hello, hello, hello, hello. The weight of his body, his wiry hair, the black pads of his paws, his thrashy tail, his breath, his crooked lower teeth, his dogness, walks over me.
The weight of the dog says: James, you have made one more night, one more day, we have made, we welcome, we who have not been apart. It says we shall step and leap to the floor and dress or not dress and squat and lift our legs and do downward dog, we young dogs, and stay strong and eat and drink coffee, water, croissant, leftover sausage, meat from a tin.
The weight of the dog says: James, soon we shall smell the air, inspect trees, posts, fly failing at squirrels, leap away from passing busses, meet others of our kind, shit on a gravel driveway, walk in wet grass, run wild in circles. Our day will be one of dashing and lying, of rising and falling, avoiding loud noises, assessing those we meet, ready for the chase of those we can chase.
Going to bed he flops on my feet, rising, turning in circles twice, three times, looking for snakes, then settles. I am trapped: he is pinning my feet, pinning the bedclothes, lying in the space I want to turn to. I will make no move to disturb him, for the weight of the dog is a welcome weight, the welcome prison of love, a feeling I call love, and am happy with that mistake. Perhaps it is no mistake.

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