don’t glow or yowl in the dark.
Like shadows, they stand back
and gape at the moon
remembering the colour of bone.

I’ve seen them roaming the alley
behind the house like aging homosexuals
in search of some remnant
of the contact they once pursued.

The ghosts of dogs don’t laugh or whine.
Their tongues never leave their mouths,
and those black eyes don’t blink anymore.
One comes to the back fence on cool nights,

as if it wants to be reminded of human touch.
It looks through me like mist, like the wire
and boards it could walk through
to my hand, but it never does.

If I stare long, it grows hollow
in the widening night, its fur fading
into wood grain and grass.
Then the star in each eye goes out.