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Indefinite Listing Privilege

Marta Ferguson

It's not an injunction to catalogue
all the dogs she could be:
Beagle, Plotthound, Harrier, Coonhound,
Bloodhound, Foxhound, Fox Terrier.
Instead, it's an invitation to choose
the one she most appears to want to be,
then send pictures to the AKC, with fishing weights
taped under her ears to make them drop,
secretly, to conform to her chosen pedigree.

ILP's permission to deny the designation
on her Big Red Shelter papers: Beagle mix.
An off-hand notation that gives me motivation
to suspect her long legs aren't maternal heritage.
Whatever her uncertain parentage, she's Daisy,
Dai-sy, the one for whom I'm half-crazy, the one
on whom I can bestow a geneology, a canine ethnicity,
crest, and coat-of-arms I can expect to negotiate against
in this carriage-less co-opted marriage where
we improvise blood lines, blood ties.

Marta Ferguson

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