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When I fought the dog we almost danced

we loved each other that much and he was strong,

not counting even his teeth and claws, and I had

trouble pushing against him even though his

shoulders were weaker in that position nor was he

intended, as Aristotle might say, for fighting

standing up like that the way maybe a

bear was more intended or certainly an

ape with his gross imitation of a

human, or a human of him, if I can

step into that muck a minute, and he was

taller than me, as I remember, which made him

huge for a dog and made me feel small standing

on two legs with my weak left knee impaired

as it was and smelling his breath and shocked by his giant

head and what had to be a look I never

expected in his eyes, though I had to know

it would be like that for who was I anyhow

to bicker as I did or think that love

as I called it, all I did for him, the food

and water I gave him I could barter, I couldn't

even find my pocket, I couldn't take out a dollar.

All I Did For Him

Gerald Stern

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