By Michael O’Ryan

I often wonder what level of capacity canines hold

            for narcissism / I assume theirs is much lower than

                        ours / and that’s ironic because much like a mad dog,

some people are blind to their own charm under the misguidance

            of instinct / life is like a twenty-four hour 7-11 the way only    

                        paying customers are allowed to loiter and there lies a lingering

threat of violence / life is like a grindhouse triple-feature the way

            we’re all cloaked in an absence of light and no matter how thorough

                        the character development, the protagonist is always succeeded by a

new one when the film fades to black / sometimes our own development grows

            lithe with time / like when it was your hazel-eyed angel on the phone and you

                        could nearly map the distance in her voice while your heart splintered like

faraway lightning / occasionally on some poorly-lit porch at night,

            wayward strangers ask me what my sign is / they never know

                        what to say when I tell them I’m a Capricorn / it is the terror of the

inherent uncertainty present in the superfluid nature of the human

            psyche that draws people to a reliance on the orientation of astral bodies

                        to tell them who they are / the main difference between a person and a

mad dog is the ability to mask rabidity once let off the leash /

            I guess I’m disheartened by the fact that even a tame dog’s

                        horoscope cannot predict under which moon it will bear its teeth.

Michael O’Ryan’s work appears or is forthcoming in Alien Mouth, Five:2:One Magazine, Building 45 Literary Journal, Peach Mag & elsewhere. His poetry was included on Ampersand Literary's Summer 2016 "Best of the Season" list. He tweets @surfing_montana.

© 2018