Dog Year in the Time of #45

Where is “the heart,” Hoa
writes with a question

mark. I scroll the void
of what we feed each

other, screen shot an organ
carved from wood to a new

lover to prove I can
find one & maybe hang it

on my wall if it doesn’t cost
my solitude, but heart

inflation is on the rise—hot
air balloon beating—this is

the year of the dog. I used
to hound around

in caves, especially in Carlsbad.
This friend longed to sit

& listen to an older couple
bicker, his knee to mine, mouth

wanting to touch mouth, but he didn’t
have a heart. Today, my dog

naps on my lap unaware
of the ills of the world, new

moon outside the window,
no intentions & for once

I listen. Nuclear threats are news
from yesterday & no one can scroll

right past the heart
of the matter. Back to the cave—

I almost forgot—another man
fixed his flashlight on a bat fossil

as if to answer Hoa’s question
years before it was asked.

Could the earth have predicted
our worries? Does it bat an eye

at such dogged hope? It takes
two in the garbage disposal

to recognize despair. Dance,
dance. Fetch (heart). Sit.

Andrea Blancas Beltran is from El Paso, Texas. Her work has recently been selected for publication in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Scalawag, About Place Journal, A Dozen Nothing, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Fog Machine, Gramma, Pilgrimage, and others. Her chapbook profiles was published by Dancing Girl Press in February 2020. Another chapbook Re- was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in July 2018. You can find her @drebelle.