The only way you can truly get to know an author is through the trail of ink he leaves behind him. The person you think you see is only an empty character: truth is always hidden in fiction.
I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you.
When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.
I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair to eat,
a napkin on your lap, a knife in your hand.
I would have run away
but I was too weak,
a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel
and, greatest of insults,
shake hands without a hand.
I admit the sight of the leash would excite me,
but only because it meant I was about to smell things
you had never touched.
You do not want to believe this
but I have no reason to lie:
I hated the car, hated the rubber toys,
disliked your friends, and worse, your relatives.
The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you was food and water in my bowls
While you slept, I watched you breathe as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all of my strength not to raise my head and howl.
Now, I am free of the collar,
free of the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place,
except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner,
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry,
the cats and all the others
— Billy Collins
As young as I look,
I am growing older faster than he,
Seven to one is the ratio, they tend to say.
Whatever the number, I will pass him one day
and take the lead,
the way I do on our walks in the woods,
and if this ever manages to cross his mind,
it would be the sweetest shadow
I have ever cast on snow or grass.