With the Amen this dog

knew her kingdom

had come. Scraps of fat,

burnt potatoes, beets,

everything proceeded

from his right hand.

Dad raised a sausage spaniel

right until she convulsed

one morning, legs

splayed on the kitchen floor.

An animal has no soul,

he said as the vet readied

the fatal needle, and she

whimpered, tongue loose

on the examination table.

He held up a hand to say

stop, and he paid for the pills.

At lunch, he hid one

in a piece of ham.

And she sat and spoke.

—Otto Selles

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