from PETS

After my parents got divorced my mother started dating a younger man.
whiteShe said she was tired of feeling bad she wanted to feel good and appreciated.

They met at the gym / he helped her lift her weights
He had recently come back from the war and didn't look anyone in the eyes.
They slowly fell into the plot of a good lifetime movie
They got matching tattoos
They got matching cars
They got a toy poodle together from my aunt the gynecologist who breeds show poodles in her basement.


My mother named the dog after her boyfriend Andron
My mother declared he was a special dog and that he needed to be treated with extra care
He needed to wear a diaper and eat eggs and bacon for every meal
My mother always acquired pets at random
She couldn't love them in a way that was good for them
Something bad always happened to them, as if she wished it upon them
In my childhood we had

2 standard poodles that my mother gave away
10 chickens that my father ate
1 turtle that ran away
7 ducks that my father ate
4 rabbits that my father left in the parking lot of our local brunch spot
4 hamsters that my mother let go
1 bird that flew away
1 cat that my father let go
1 goat that my father ate
10 fish that all ate each other / the last one died of depression

This new dog was special
My mother treated him like a baby
He seemed to be holding her together in her fragile state

Andron the poodle became a deliverance for our family
It was like we couldn't remember life without our poodle
whiteWe would sit around taking turns feeding him eggs and rice mashed into a fine paste
My father had been gone for 3 months
whiteNo one talked about him

The encasing halo of loss is funny / the depression that comes with abandonment / you sink into the endless body of the world signaling at the liquidated border of your reality

My mother started taking antidepressants and buying Gucci for the toy poodle

My mother started wearing less and going out more with her toy poodle

Andron became a beacon of hope / her children and her marriage had failed but she had a toy poodle named after her 27-year-old lover Andron / she was blissful she was happy

Death to loss !! Death to fear !! Death to the nuclear family !! Death to dog shows !!

Death to failure !! Death to all bad fathers !!

Free the toy poodles of the world !! Free ur suffering mother !! Free Cesar Millan !!

But the poodle was suffering.
My mother forgot to walk the toy poodle
My brother never walked the poodle because he was depressed and smoking weed

My mother's 27-year-old boyfriend couldn't walk the dog because he hated the poodle and would lock him in a cage only feeding him bologna from Walmart
I was too far from my family and my life and the toy poodle that would save us all

One day in the frenzied sun of a soft summer my brother left the poodle outside in his starry pothead state

So Andron the toy poodle ran away

whiteHe ran looking for salvation from my family

Looking for a place to not be worshipped past the bliss of sunlight's wrenching maws

The loss of the object of love's distortion makes a person susceptible to madness

whiteSo my mother lost her mind in the ceaseless chaos of the world

So I came home from college to help my family find the toy poodle

So my family would not fall into the sun spiral

Straight sucking on sadness

whiteMy mother believed her beloved toy poodle dead

Out in the street

So I made posters

So I made T-shirts

So I asked every neighbour

So I asked every flower

So I asked every child

Have you see the toy poodle? that will save us all

whiteYou will be surprised by who you become looking for your savior

The pain of separation makes you desperate

A neighbor told my brother someone down the street had found an apricot toy poodle

whiteAnd took it to a shelter

My mother and I go to the shelter together

We are silent and the only song my mom has on the mixtape her boyfriend made her is playing on repeat loop after loop of "Over the Rainbow"

Have you ever heard the sound that a hummingbird makes when it's run over by a red BMW on its way to pick up a runaway toy poodle?

It's like an exploding heart

Your body feels like it's being strung along a harp's soundboard

Play that song again on the transformed material of you

Play my heart again on repeat

She doesn't notice the hummingbird or my heartbeat

The sky goes from light blue to lavender to pink before setting into cream and blue

At the shelter Andron the poodle
whiteseems resentful and afraid of my mother
He does not go to her when she calls him


He comes to me

He sits in my lap

I hold him in my arms

I kiss him

I sing him "Over the Rainbow" on repeat

Appartional love in fluorescent light

I don't let him go

On the drive home

I tell my mother renaming him is probably a good idea
Andron doesn't really fit him
He's more special than that
I sing him "Over the Rainbow" over and over again until he becomes my rainbow