The bony hounds, their bloated howling

through the night; the twitch in the hind
quarters, the way they’ve lapsed back

into habits of humid, casual coupling:
sa kalye, nagkakantutan— The dogs
going on with their doggy lives, by which
another botched encounter with the end

of days could be inferred. They’re lucky
to escape the fate they would’ve been dealt,
back in the barrio: steaming accompaniment

to Cerveza Negra, in bowls laced with fat,
lashings of vinegar, peppercorns. A dish
even the hardened could drown their most
hidden sorrows in. After the floods recede,

you’ll find your washed-up others in some
back alley: bellies distended with water,
muzzles stuffed with stones and reeds.

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