I Wanted a Dog, But My Boyfriend Claims to be “Extremely Allergic” 

Ben Hall

We're all making concessions lately
(with varying degrees of grace of course) 

to realize that, in this simple calculus 
where X is not equal to Y, 

I cannot both nuzzle my solitude
and simultaneously cast it away. 

And since confessions are
the order of the days, 

let me admit that you were 
right to be skeptical.     

At first I didn't know 
why I told this silly lie.

but now it's clear 
I could not bear to watch you

turn some other living thing into 
yet another Instagram accessory 

in this exhausting production
you call "your life."  

When I was twelve, Terry chased
me tirelessly across the hills

and snored lightly on my chest as I
lay enraptured by the Southern sky.   

Yes, we're all making 
concessions these days.   

You: sourdough bread, 
in place 
of a dog.   

Me: you, 
in place of someone
I'd want to marry.  

Ben Hall currently teaches English and writes in South Korea. His essays have previously appeared in The Cobalt Review and Contraposition Magazine. He has poems published or forthcoming in Bitterzoet Review, The Bangalore Review, and Buck Off Magazine.