you said that he was love, that he was tough too, that he would teach you the soft poetry you could use in a knife fight. there was some blood. it was inevitable of course. he was a dog person. big pit bulls. those that would bark at you but coo under him. he said it was for safety. he said to not be nervous. he held your hand inside like a torch against the dark. you feel light. happy. together. around you are those parts unfolding. here he was when he was five. look at the wild wet hair. small eyes gaze at you in oversized pink overalls and a hat that no longer fit. larger eyes fall on you now. what do you think? you try to say something about the sun being the same, the shadows being different, but the dogs are too loud. you smell them from here. do they talk to another? do they accidentally bite their tongue? he gives you the old familiar picture of a smile, worn teeth showing, and leads you upstairs. the animals howl each step, even as the door closes. especially then. you leave sometime later, unable to find the switch on the wall. the dogs say nothing to help. there may have even been a whimper.