dog / mother

i’m watching my roommates’ dog while they’re out of town

she’s cloying, she follows me around the house wagging her tail and looking up with droopy eyes in a way that i suppose some people find endearing but right now, when trying to fathom that anything in the world could ever need me, i just find it pathetic. she doesn’t listen to anything and constantly steals food off the counter when i’m not looking. i take a brief second of pleasure in shutting the bedroom door in her face when she tries to follow me, not letting her sleep in my bed.

i’m sitting on the back porch watching her bark incessantly at nothing when i realize that i feel closer to forgiving my mother than i ever have before.

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i sit outside on the porch, listening for your bus like a fucking dog. i’m a coward and a brat, and this is the closest i’ll ever get to doing anything about it. i’m still doing the same things i did as a child, like a list under the stairs, tally marks next to their names. hiding on the playground, talking about my dad like he ever mattered, waiting to see if someone will look for me, if someone will follow the line i’m carefully tracing in the dust with the toe of my shoe. he’s not coming, so stop waiting.

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