Matt Galletta

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Black Dog

Thought I saw you todayArtwork by Gene McCormick
jogging down the street
with a shaggy black dog
loping alongside you.

It’s been years.
You still looked good.

It wasn’t you, of course.
It was someone else,
or maybe just some strange
suburban mirage
flashing for my eyes alone.

I know,
because I can imagine you jogging
—maybe you even did back then,
I don’t remember—
and I can picture you with a dog,
even a big, lumbering beast
like the one today,

but you,

In this stifling Stepford town
of money-green lawns
and white vinyl siding
brighter than the sun?

No, it was someone else.
It was a mirage.
It was my own imagination
making a break for it,

with that big black dog,
as always,
close at my heels.

Let it kill you

Artwork by Gene McCormick

Find what you love,
Bukowski wrote,
and let it kill you.

I’m on a Greyhound
heading from Albany to New York.

We just passed
a man steering his Jeep
with his knees

so his hands could be free
to strum
the small, brown
acoustic guitar
in his lap.

Matt Galletta lives in upstate New York. A collection of poetry, The Ship Is Sinking, is available from Epic Rites Press. Find out more at