Mariya Gusev


Hip dysplasia
is when your hips are displeased
with the way you've been living
it affects dogs, not people
People have a choice
about movement, mealtimes
and the lack of sex.

But back to dog—whom we keep
for his coat, his tongue,
which remind us of what we've been missing:

The dog, at least,
is able to articulate a dream
now living only in whimpers,
inaudible to those
on the other side of the garden.


and it's testing testing one-two-three
around the periphery of this particular moon.
the crackle is only broken by the soft shifting of interstellar
sand. there isn't a fleck to indicate a presence
of gravity here. we stand at arms, at screens, at TVs
holding our breath, coffee stains slowly growing over our best

what could have
gone wrong? no, scratch that, what could have ever
lived here, period? in the absence of air
your membership at the boys' club can no longer
save your breath from running out, slowly,
whisper by whisper, into the brightly lit

with the salient waterless river
finally beneath you,
you have forty more seconds
to stare into your dream

Mariya Gusev

Mariya Gusev's original language is Russian. She is an editor for The Literary Review and lives and writes in Brooklyn.