M.J. Arlett

Lost & Found


Today, harsh morning glazing the window,
snoring at my feet, a rootless dog found drifting in the street.

Last night, an elegiac waiting—an election.
One I had no hand in, could only watch

because I was not born into this love of America.
I sought it, placed it on a windowsill for me to grow

and cultivate, spent my days watering
this garden hoping it could reach

across ponds and harbours. Too often we forget
how parts become a whole,

how a poorly kept dog will always reflect
a poorly kept home. We are trees,

branches and roots anchored
by our own reflection,

merely a phone call, an accident,
a love, an illness away from living a different life.

Today, all I have will be given to a white and tan dog.
Already, I love her, though I know this is temporary

small joy to be returned to whomever loved her first,
myself left to wander, avoiding collisions in the road.

M. J. Arlett is an MFA candidate at Florida International University. She was born in the UK, spent several years in Spain and now lives in Miami. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lunch Ticket, Poet Lore, Mud Season Review, The Boiler Journal, Portland Review and elsewhere.