My friend’s little dog in my garden,
for hours fixated on the top of the brick wall,
not at all on the garden itself
reminds me how, in a besieged city,
less and less I noticed the streets and the people,
until only the invisible fence remained.
The dogs were, I remember, calmer than us,
looking moderately disappointed, as if wanting
to shame without offending, lugging around
this same restrained sadness,
the one seemingly nothing to do with people
and all to do with the state of the world.
Maybe that’s what saved their necks in the end
when there was no food left: a gift for mimicry,
a heart neither full nor empty.