we tried to hide it in the house so that the
neighbors wouldn’t see.
it was difficult, sometimes we both had to
be gone at once and when we returned
there would be excreta and urine all
it wouldn’t toilet train
but it had the bluest eyes you ever
and it ate everything we did
and we often watched tv together.
one evening we came home and it was
there was blood on the floor,
there was a trail of blood.
I followed it outside and into the garden
and there in the brush it was,
there was a sign hung about its severed
“we don’t want things like this in our
I walked to the garage for a shovel.
I told my wife, “don’t come out here.”
then I walked back with the shovel and
the faces watching me from behind
they had their neighborhood back,
a nice quiet neighborhood with green
lawns, palm trees, circular driveways, children,
churches, a supermarket, etc.
I dug into the earth.
- Charles Bukowski
Reread this poem but instead of a pet, think of “it” as being a person’s gender, sexuality, race, culture, or anything that makes all of us individuals.