I don’t walk how I used to and I piss on almost everything:
doorframe corners, the humming refrigerator, table legs,
human legs, couch cushions, flowerpots, unshelved shoes—
anywhere but the backyard. It’s sacred out here.
I can ignore the puppyish tremor of my limbs
and see out my good eye the world’s slow-turning marvels.
The haunt of grass. The baby bees, clutching their pollen.
Oh, the troves of dirt I once unearthed, the holy hills.
I have tried to tell my owner, silly girl and awful listener,
of all the names and places of things. That I have deciphered
the secrets of our shared niche, and the codes cannot be viewed
from beneath the blankets of the comforter I am shoved off,
nor are they hidden alongside a ham treat, enclosed in her fist.
I’ve yowled at her, in my most potent and insistent snaps:
Have you seen the dreary socks in the laundry basket?
The lines between the kitchen tiles? The color of my fur?
The dogged flickering of lightbulbs, dreaming in the ceilings?
Isa Mari De Leon is a Filipinx American writer. She is currently studying English at the University of California, Berkeley. A previous English tutor, publishing intern at W. W. Norton & Company, and game writing intern at Riot Games, Isa is a student of any form of writing she can get her hands on. When not reading or writing, she might be playing with her dog, studying in a library, or playing video games very, very poorly.