Oyster Boy Review 04  
  Spring 1996
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» Levee 67



Evan Smith

Dogs answered sirens. A thousand here.
Nothing like anything in Spring,
Summer—sound travels far
as if the air were circles of ocean.
Soft engines rise to tire screech, feet,
sirens, dogs.

Every house has at least one dog
for thirty blocks—chained, behind chicken
wire, or brooding under tacked plywood.
Old tires all over this world.
Buried. White washed. Flowers rounded
in them. Dog attached, weight to pull,
to keep home, to strengthen.

A .22 is small, a cap,
a firecracker. The noise doesn't move away. After a .22, sirens
rarely scream dogs to shout.

Add powder and flint to their wail,
aim it at someone—it would not
hurt them. Dogs aren't angry
or frightened—they mourn together,
briefly and it passes.