The Color of George's Fur

Kathleen McGookey

Kathleen McGookey

The Color of George's Fur was selected as part of MSU Library Short Edition's call for submissions on the theme of "Home," in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum's exhibition "Where We Dwell." Kathleen McGookey has published four books of prose poems and three chapbooks, most recently Instructions for My Imposter (Press 53) and Nineteen Letters (BatCat Press). She has also published We'll See, a book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau's prose poems. Her work has appeared in journals including Copper Nickel, Crazyhorse, December, Field, Glassworks, Miramar, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Quiddity, and The Southern Review. She has received grants from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sustainable Arts Foundation.

It's not the color of the center of the flame. Or the tip, as it flickers and then dissolves. A candle's flame, not a roaring bonfire. Almost like the sheen of brass. Close, but not quite. Warmer. Not that nearly artificial hue the trees blaze, briefly, in October. More like bronze fabric, with a little shimmer woven through. To throw off some light. (If he naps in the sun, imagine all this several shades warmer.) Not a color you can bring home in a box. Why bother getting it right? He's darker than our first, beloved golden. And younger, of course. And competing with our best memories: sprinting like a young deer after the herd; napping, chin in bowl, waiting for dinner; leaping out of the rowboat to join the swimmers; zooming in figure eights in the yard, delighted to see us. Like a young fox, this new dog is burnished as Buddha's belly. Right now, he curls on his bed in a tight ball, nose to tail, eyes shut. Resting up to break my heart.

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