Wild Dogs Among the Ruins

the first
its fur like an early image
of the universe gray swirls
and dark spots

the other
like a field of unharvested
wheat at the end
of summer

they mimic the violence of survival
as we do

our favorite game
holding one another
by the neck the threat
and exhilaration of release

who do you belong to

they play upon a patch of grass
returned now to its undomesticated brethren
flora designed for their own survival
instead of ours

a new nature grows inside
the blasted-out walls of the abandoned
post dispatch which once spun
deep into the night
with yesterday’s news


Brian Russell is the author of The Year of What Now (Graywolf). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, and Kenyon Review. He lives in St. Louis. 

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