friday writings #2 seven dogs

seven dogs 

i drank nine beers in nine bars
a tribute to nine women who wrecked me
walking home i walked past the red house
over yonder
same one i’ve walked pass ninety-nine and one-half times before
i stopped right there and thought, how drunk am i?
so i did the math 
nine bars, nine beers, nine times nine is eighty-one
in nineteen eighty-one i was nine years old
and in the nineth hour of the nineth day 
of my nineth winter, i walked this very path
with the same nine mailboxes on the sidewalk to the left
and the same nine garden gnomes in the garden to the right
ninety-nine and one-half newspapers piled up 
on the doorstep of the red house over yonder
and that’s when i saw what i saw
the thing that haunts me forever
i saw seven dogs fighting in the alley
for a leftover chicken bone
seven brothers forgot their bond and surrendered to the hunger
i saw their teeth grow long and their eyes grow sinister 
i saw mortal fear up close and personal
and then i saw the blackest crow i ever saw
swoop down and steal that chicken bone
then perch high on a steeple, seven tail feathers pointed due east
i saw seven dogs in disbelief 
seven dogs, one dead chicken 
and a tax collector in the blackest crow-feathered trench coat i ever saw
nine creatures total