Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
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Robert Sward

Inter-species Healing:
A Specialty


Shelby the Dog:

So, what is consciousness?
75% of the brain consists of water,
         the surface of the earth,
75% water,

and a banana too, 75% water

You and your melancholia. You know what it is, a brain?
A salty tissue and membrane soup. Woof fuckin’ woof

I’m not the dog I was,
and you, well,
you’re not the dog you were either.

But brains you got, three pounds, you people,
100 billion neurons,
1.6 pints of blood flow through the brain every minute.

Problem with you now is you live in the past.
You’ve got one frequency of oscillation,
         we’ve got another. You know,
dogs are never “away,” are they? But you, boss,
where are you?

Tell me, you think God is present in you one way
and in me another?

Look at me. If you have eyes,
you have feelings.

And what do they call it?
Inter-species healing.
You wanna get better? You’re getting better.