Late Light

Daddy, Can We Go to the Doggie Park?

i enter the dog park concerning loss teaches sensitive content in
pain through which one fleshly donation
makes meager less meager & kids are crying in the whip
i’m told, at my inability, this persistent disinterest
in fighting. such odd claims about some nigga so
soft in the urge to battle as reflection of care in
juridico-legal sex-charged stumpiness of that new
black parenting verb. docket slims. dogs cry.
mind over family matters, the state department. the state
department is where I once wanted to work cause I
heard they pay for braces, worked a needle & eyepatch
in the state department & got mad ducats dispensed
at a rate commensurate with one experience cause I was
a very good boy. like my child who is a very good child
crying in the back seat of the whip at the dog park
texting is never a good idea on the telephone keypad,
so I ordered a toy rotary for our children to chat
with our dead dog who spat a lot, her selflessness
exceeding the need to sound off & tremble

Joseph Earl Thomas is a PhD student in English at The University of Pennsylvania. As a writer and scholar, he is broadly interested in Black Studies & Speculative Fiction(s). Winner of the 2020 Chautauqua Janus Prize for his memoir Sink, his writing can be found or is forthcoming in The Massachusetts Review, The Offing, Gulf Coast, and The Kenyon Review.
Tags: Poetry