I heard the dogs before
I opened the door late, after work—
first Maude who was dancing
in praise of my arrival for all she knew
it was: presence without end,
the end of waiting, the end
and then Li Po,
who, in the middle of his life,
learning to make his feelings known
as one who has carried breath
and heart close to the earth seven
times seven years, in praise
of silence and loneliness, climbed
howling, howling from his bed.
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