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By Jessica Swanson

Praise to Canis Major:

celestial sparkle dog, original sky pup,

glittering across the night in full italics

Dog Star—Heaven’s brightest,

caught in an endless romp through Earth’s orbit

while hares and bulls scatter

War Dog in the dead summer heat,

born of bow and born of arrow,

it’s me—just another reluctant stray

trailing after in search of home

and I’ll run and run and run,

chasing the scent of campfire and clove,

vanilla highs, newspaper dreams down alleyways

where the ink needle’s thin and the money runs out

sweat doesn’t shine quite the same

and blood’s not as bright, all things considered

the real stuff runs dark and river deep

and to tell the truth, dear Cosmic Canine,

I’ve lost all touch with everyone

I once considered a constellation

(heavy in their black-eyed pinks and blues—

purple shiners all of them)

hate to ask you this, really

but could you tell me,

can you see the flash bombs from way up there

wouldn’t you love to take me home


Jessica Swanson (she/her) is a librarian and a writer from Florida. She has a fondness for cats, cheese, and hot tea. Her work has appeared in Voidspace, Worm Moon, Healthline Zine, engendered, and others. Follow her writing on Twitter at Cooljazsheepie or Instagram at everystupidstar.


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