A Very Good Dog

Matthew Dickman
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I must have looked so handsome because she said you look so handsome
and I must have been eight years old
because she said    I can’t believe you are already
eight years old
and it must have been
a dark and romantic Italian Restaurant
because it was dark in there and full of men and women holding hands
across the beautiful tables feeding each other

pasta and bread
and drinking wine and kissing and my mother with her Black Russian and me
with my Shirley Temple
and before we even sat down in the candlelight we must have
sat in the car because we were sitting in the car
in the pocket of the driveway where she placed her hand on my knee
and patted it like you would if the knee was
a very good dog

and she must have smiled and said   are you excited for our date
because she smiled and said   are you excited for our date
and then combed my hair
because my hair must have
needed to be combed, to be made right.
And we must have danced that night
because the restaurant had a dance floor full of other couples and she showed me where
my hands were supposed to go

and how to move my legs
and laughed
and beamed and said   I love you so much
which meant there would be no other world
but this world,
no other way, no
other forest
but this forest and all the trees on fire and all the animals running.


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