Blue Dog Blue Dog
Mid-sentence while teaching
a freshman seminar, a stranger
in a blue dog costume enters.
Blue Dog paces in eerily
without saying a word—
mimes his threadbare mitts
for us to carry-on. I search
the shadowbox of mesh
beneath its battered plastic eyes
for any indication of what’s next.
Where an ID card should rest,
an empty plastic case swings.
When Blue Dog speaks,
his voice is crushed gravel:
One time I buried a bone.
I buried a bone, then I dug it up.
A part of me leaves my body.
When it’s over, he walks out.
Five days later, an Oregon community
college student shoots his English teacher
and nine others. The gunman says,
I’ve wanted to do this for years.
(First published by The Stockholm Review of Literature)
Sarah Sala’s debut poetry collection, Devil’s Lake, is currently a finalist for the 2019 New Issues Poetry Prize, and her poem “Hydrogen” was featured in the “Elements” episode of NPR’s Radiolab in collaboration with Emotive Fruition. She is the founder and director of Office Hours Poetry Workshop and teaches expository writing at New York University. She is currently at work on Migrainer, a book-length hybrid poem examining the interstices of migraine and creativity. Her work appears in BOMB, Poetry Ireland Review, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and WSQ, among others.