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Brian Henry, from Quarantine :: Contagion

from Quarantine

I feel nothing lying here I feel little
here the sores on my legs
on my neck have not been drained
the pain almost glorious so familiar
in its presence during the night
but now there is a softness
to the feeling a body is washing
away falling into the grass beneath it
and that body was mine and no one
is here to carry it no one will hold the body

The dog has found a tree beside which to chew the boot it took from the dead man in the field. A dog will not approach a dead woman but will sit or lie beside a dead man until someone comes for the dog / to remove the body. A dog cannot see a dead child but knows something dead is there. A dog can learn to adapt to new scenarios. Few dogs have found a dead woman with a dead man. The dog cannot ignore the body of the dead man, wants to ignore the body of the dead woman, does not see the body of the dead boy, so the dog takes something from the man, does not approach the woman, does not see the boy. The field is fresh with death, the dog knows. Having found a dead man and woman together, the dog will not retrace its steps. The dog feels something like happiness having part of the man here with it in the woods. It chews the boot and forgets about the dead man and woman until some days later when it steps from the trees into the field. It knows the death there is no longer fresh, knows the bodies there are no longer there, and turns from the field to walk back into the woods.