(The vid gets brighter.) Josie O greets Angel Joe after he’s ridden his bike home from work. Usually she stretches out her back legs when he holds her up. Didn’t do it. But you do get a brief look at “wavy paws.” She turns into a soft marshmallowy thing by the end.
Our Chihuahua’s currency is kisses.
To strangers, she offers a demure lick,
A kiss on the hand from
A prospective Latin lover.
“I would like to know you better.”
Relaxing at home,
Her tongue strokes my arm
Like a painter realizing her muse.
“How beautiful you are.”
Or a parent, stroking a child’s head.
“I will protect you.”
Always a questionable promise.
When we return from the unknown,
She is frantic with love.
Standing on hind legs,
She clutches my face between her paws
And kisses like a wife
Who thought herself widowed.
Our separation ended,
She no longer needs to be strong.
We pay in kind.
A primal press of primate lips
Against that tiny cheek,
Plush and yielding with fur.
She droops with pleasure.
Lying on her back in the sun,
Limp and heavy-lidded as a corpse,
She seems not to notice
Nibbling kisses on her belly,
Even when they stop.
There will surely be more.
— Copyright Esri Allbritten, 2016
The other day, I said to Angel Joe, “What if we woke up and it turned out that Chihuahuas were something we dreamed and they didn’t really exist?” We’d tell people,
“In the dream, there were these tiny furry animals that would follow you everywhere. They understood some words, and would do tricks, and they could sleep on your shoulder but also keep up on a hike. And they had giant ears and eyes, and you could buy outfits for them and dress them up.”
And people would say, “What an imagination you have!”