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Image by Chris Curry

Best Listener

The dog of myself

walking the dog of the dog

through the dog of the world.

I’ve been talking to myself

a lot lately. Too much, probably.

I am my best listener. No one

hears me out like I do.

The dog of the dog stops, pees

on a tree, and suddenly

I have to go, too. “The good

stuff, too, is contagious,” I say

to the dog of myself zipping up.

The danger, of course, which is

posted on the trail–Steep Decline

Ahead–is the more you talk to yourself

the more you begin to resemble

a guy on a park bench talking to himself,

eyes wild, fly open, gesticulating

at his own inscrutable privacies,

barking at the dogs of the people

of the world passing by.

PAUL HOSTOVSKY is a poet living in Boston. His latest book of poems is Mostly (FutureCyclePress, 2021). You can find him at his website,

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