The Dog Days by Claire Beeli

                                                                                                    The dog days start

                                                                             with the end of the human ones.


Sunsets light effigies

the size of foothills. Ice

slicks roads and trickles

into rocks,




                                     to chunks.


Pile-ups pile

up. Metal

crumples with a sound like

wailing, bones snap

in time with ice. Skyscrapers

drive down like golden spikes. Skies

char and so does skin until it

can be lifted from flesh like a 

carapace. Snowflakes scratch eyeballs and

fingers clink, blue, to the ground and

the last men’s knees splinter

against the ground as they fall

                            at the feet of the gods,

                                         of severed, lifted heads and

                                                      they whisper, hoarse, I’m sorry


they are not forgiven. The last

man is torn from flesh

by teeth


and a howl



The moon opens

her yellow sleeping eye

and blinks.


The world pants

and licks itself clean. The


lapdogs, mastiffs,

teacups, pitbulls—

take to the forest shade

to the desert dust

to the savannah grasses.

the sounds of the

world become their barking

laughter and the

padding of paws.


Packs re-

form. Dog 

did not forget 

its shape.


Paws rove

the sand and moss,

the grass and snow.


The world again hums 

to mangy beats.

About the Author

Claire Beeli is an emerging writer from Long Beach, California. Her work is published or is forthcoming in Block Party Lit, Polyphony Lit, and The Apprentice Writer, among others. She is her city’s 2023-2024 Youth Poet Laureate. Her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Foundation, Columbia College Chicago, The New York Times Learning Network, and others.


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