11.2 (Winter 2007)   The 2River View   AuthorsPoemsPDFPast Issues2River

JeFF Stumpo

Quantum Canine

For Stubby, who observed

Chasing ducks, our dog Apple
Falls into a lake & floats. I start
To think about Newton & gravity
& a grand metaphorical scheme
To bind in verse. But the play
Of light on water is too complex
For these Saturday afternoon
Philosophies, the quacking
Too insistent for any math, physics
Newtonian or otherwise simply lacking
Compared to canine appreciation of
The moment. This is levity,
The opposite of gravity, though both are
Beyond time. That may not be
Entirely true, but I have a dog
To fish from a lake, &
Relative to that, who cares?


While you’re gone

For Kate

The house is too big.
The bed is too

small. The space
where you sleep

won’t breathe. I
float through

the rooms, remember
suddenly something

of you, then lose it.
I watch

the fish turn over
and over its solitary

thought, unaware,
unable to decide

if this is a miracle
or just waiting—

our breathing
without air.


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