I had always thought the next
was feeding & watering
my happiness with great care
I'd show up & after the new car
smell wore off, it'd be shedding
fur on my black pants, hacking old
socks onto the carpet. Breaking ribs
when it sneezed.
I'd liberate a few bills from the latest's
wallet for kibbles & grab the flea
spray. A water bowl. Set happiness
in the backseat with a squeak toy
& roll out.
But when the Blazer dropped its
transmission in Texas, leaving me
stranded in a town that offered
a big, fenced-in yard & a lease
including pets, I couldn't get
that fool happiness to leave its cage.
It'd crawl out to take a shit & eat
some grass, then return to lie
on the metal pan, sighing
& grunting, drooling on its paws.