Like Dogs

You would think I would stop losing my dog.
That she would stop bolting for open doors;
leaping over the fence, squeezing under, digging
her way out. That I would stop finding her nearby:
content, sniffing things, indifferent to my need
to protect her; to know what she is sniffing.

You would think I would stop setting things
on the top of my car: sunglasses, drinks,
and today, the rear-view mirror vision of
something careening down the road behind me:
a white rectangle, a short flight, an asphalt
explosion of touchscreen circuits and microbes.

You would think I would stop hiding things
in the back of the fridge; behind the milk,
beyond the reach of grasping little hands.
The last decadent wedge of chocolate cake,
the last eclair, once stuffed with delicate
pale pastry cream, now forgotten and rotten.

You would think I would stop writing things down
to save myself the trouble of remembering,
to guarantee I will lose them and live on
with the nagging sense they are not gone forever
but out there somewhere, cryptic scribbles on
the backs of scraps, yards deep in various landfills.

You would think we would eventually stop losing
a lot of things: our wallets, our keys, our memories
time, chances, the people we love.
You would think we could make it all stop:
time heaving us forward and forward,
that we could corner it, capture it, set it all down.

You would think we were not like dogs,
tongues wagging,
heads out the window on a long drive,
vaguely pleased by the fleeting images,
the endless stream of things we can't grasp,
as they pass us by.