Letter from the Heart of a Roman Dog

Jacob Eisenmann

For K.S.


These words depend

Upon themselves, my love

Hangs on love, my

Heart dangles down. Stolen


Dogs take to Rome,

To the Villa Pamphili on walks

Without masters. Evil dogs,

Without “thought” chasing behind


Them, they dig behind the ruin

Of a grotto beside a dry fountain.

Love, outside a hut

In Africa, black children


Hanging from your legs and hands,

What can’t you give?

Soothe me with the story

Of how they kick the dogs


In the midst of the mud of the street.

I look closely at your letters

that look like this one, my one that

sounds off the far dog’s bark.


The foreman came himself to tell

Mayor Rutelli they had dug into an ancient

Villa while carving out a route

For the new Metro C.


The mayor replied simply,

Andate avanti.

I am alone in Rome.

I cannot bring myself to kick


The dogs as they literally dig

Up the past. Instead

I try to soothe them by

Flexing and unflexing


This muscle of comparison.

My heart, I sight along

The curvature down at you

tossing up dust.


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