FNS: Parts of a Dog & Anima by Lynn Wagner


Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Tonight’s “double feature” is from Lynn Wagner

Parts of a Dog

Let us begin with leather and crest,
an invitation to your right hand
to smooth along her neck
in an unconscious, idolatrous pet,
oblivious and continuing on to
withers and loin
before your hand swims forward
to crest again.

We have ignored point of rump,
hock and stifle,
that confusedly-jointed
back portion of her so essential
for a romp in the park.

Of course you are acquainted
with elbow and chest
and below that
the brisket
by which she may aptly be judged.

Then there is muzzle
and flews, the pouting lips
dumb to the fur on her brain.

These then are twelve distinguishing parts
of a dog and if you toy your finger
down the likely depression
between her eyes to the tip
of her nose, she will show
her teeth and snarl
its curious name: stop.


At the second floor window
the tiny dog Harry sits–

wishing to be a cat;
barking nonetheless.

Lynn Wagner is the author of No Blues This Raucous Song, which won the Slapering Hol Chapbook competition. She received an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, where she won the Academy of American Poets prize. She’s earned fellowships to the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and Center for Book Arts. Her poems have appeared in Shenandoah, Subtropics, West Branch and Cave Wall.

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