Street Dogs

I spent five weeks in Guatemala a few summers ago and I lived with a family. This meant I stayed up the hill from all the hotels and bed and breakfasts. My home was a cinderblock house with an outdoor kitchen that sat in an alleyway surrounded by other homes made of cement, wood and corrugated metal.

From the second story of the house, you could see a beautiful view of San Pedro, the town, and the houses nearby. On my first night there, I looked out from the second story up the mountain and saw something shocking. This poem is about that experience and the little moments that teach you the most.

guatemala


 

When I saw that dog,

Hump that other dog,

On the top of that building,

In the part of the city that looked like the slums

I’d seen pictures of,

I realized I was in very different place.

A place where dogs are not kept

As friends,

to feed

or walk

or pet.

They walk on their own here.

And fuck when they please.