Poem by Deanie Vallone
He’s a dog’s gnarled tooth and I’m the hand that fed him. I knew this dog bit when I took him in, but why do we always feed the mouth that turns on us? I scratch that query into the inside cover of my Bible and down the last of last month’s open cabernet. The air is ripe with someone else’s fruit; it’s acid on my skin. I try conjuring what this other woman looks like—apple blonde, collarbones like a crucifixion. She knows how to snap a leash. I bite the edge of my glass and wonder if that’s what it’s like when their teeth touch. He leaves plum-mouthed Os on her skin like wine stains on rice-thin pages. I can only imagine the shades it fades to over time. I fill myself with tannins and the Pentateuch, wonder where it all went wrong. At night in bed I make out with my closed fist, bite my knuckle until it bleeds. It tastes like young money, like fury, like her laugh, like something other than myself.
About Deanie Vallone
Deanie Vallone is a writer and theater-maker based in Wisconsin. Her writing can be found in The Wisconsin Review, Booth, Sundog Lit, and other publications, and is forthcoming in Vocivia Magazine. When not writing, she brews beer and trains birds of prey (though not at the same time, for safety reasons). She received her MA from the University of Cambridge.