On the Fourth of July, I Hear the Neighbor’s Music

by Kaitlin Dyer

God, forgive us. We build a fence
in the yard.
                                       We hold our dogs to our own
and scold them when they try to greet.

That girl at the cookout wants the dog
to come to her so badly that he will always

avoid her. She’s half-
drunk with sticky fingers, running
toward animals.

                                      People want me
to say you’re that girl, God. You’re not
the girl. You’re not the dog, either. You’re
that neighbor we didn’t invite.

                                               You listen to us
laugh; you hear the sound of footsteps gurgling,
a crack and, suddenly,
                                                         an elbow breaks
through the rot of the fence.

Kaitlin Dyer is a founding editor of
Harlot: A Revealing Look at the Arts of Persuasion. Her work has appeared in PANK, Poetry International, Web del Sol, and The Bicycle Review. She lives and wanders in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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