He nailed a dog alive to a door,
slit the skin the better to observe

the circulation of the blood,
the shiny straps of the musculature.

Proving also thus the existence of God -
which he'd argue any way he could.

The dog yelped and howled till its heart
fluttered finally to a stillness.

He withdrew his bloody hands, washed them,
sat down to write with the stink of flesh

still in his nostrils. In all these matters, he said,
you must start with a clean slate.