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she had learned that

if she beheld him as if in a sphere suspended

in the middle of where only she could


touch him he would always give forth


his smiles mattered little to her

as did his frowns his need to shit or to piss


but she fed him because he was hungry

death of her subject meant

death of her dissertation


she stroked him

only whenever she wanted to which occurred

only when she remembered him


he should have thought about that before

he broke into her house


he thought it was his turn

for money and a good time


it will be a snowy summer in calcutta before

she’ll let him go


she’ll publish first perhaps

then she’ll bury him


Eric Robinson appeared previously in the spring 2023 issue of J Journal, with his poems “Juba” and “New Rochelle.” He is now retired from university teaching. 


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