“Likeness,” by Garth Greenwell

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“Likeness,” by Garth Greenwell, appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of MQR.

As a dog seizes his prey,

          having felt the first
thrill of the scent give way in long pursuit

to tedium and frustration, feeling now
the sweet exhilarating rage of capture—

    As a dog seizes his prey

and taking the creature in his jaws, in pure
vindictive sovereignty

thrashes it, treasuring beyond all usefulness or need
a glorious savagery—

    As a dog seizes his prey

so, when weeping by the River Charles you said
in shame and grief and weary late thankfulness

that defenseless before nature you would
embrace your nature—

          so love seized me.

Image: Manship, Paul. “Sketch for Diana’s Dog.” Ca. 1920s. Pencil on paper. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

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