Suzanne Parker


The dog keeps eating shit
and dead things—mice, snakes,
dismembered frogs—but, first,
he rolls in them.  A shoulder,
then the belly, then a quick flip
and the back shifting left and right,
whole body rubbing itself against
what the just cut hay and blades
have revealed.  There is no
calling him off his delirium,
tongue agog, hunting, refusing
to loop the field as we usually do,
but smashing forward to find
what only his nose knows
as pleasure. He leaves me stranded
between the choices—
watch and wait as he zigzags
to the logic of desire
or pull him back, clip on the leash.


Suzanne Parker is a winner of the Kinereth Gensler Book Award, and her collection of poetry, “Viral,” was published by Alice James Books in Sept. 2013. Her poetry has recently appeared in “Barrow Street,” “Cimarron Review,” “Hunger Mountain” (which nominated the work for a Pushcart), “Drunken Boat,” and numerous other journals. She is a winner of the Alice M. Sellars Award from the Academy of American Poets and was a Poetry Fellow at the Prague Summer Seminars. Suzanne’s creative non-fiction is published in the travel anthology “Something to Declare” by the Univ. of Wisconsin Press. Suzanne is a poetry editor at “MEAD: A Magazine of Literature and Libations” and directs the creative writing program at Brookdale Community College in NJ.

Broken Ghazal: Thirst