cave canem

I stood with the crowd in the museum audience
Dog from the House of Marcus Vesonius Primus
thought about his metamorphosis

he was part of a travelling exhibition
cast in cruelly clear condition
two thousand years in the same position

you could see where the studded collar kept him
chained in the atrium when the gas and ash swept in
killing the dog and the people who left him

it’s shocking how time rushes in to claim us
the past and the future links to chain us
a steady, unknown hand to name us