Bad Dog

What they forget to tell you,
what they never tell you,
is that bad dogs
remember they are wolves.

I am a bad dog.
I do not listen.
I do not heel.
I lope under the bone white bowl.
I find the trail and paw pale snow.
I sniff frost, black dirt, night air.

No collar around my throat.
Slipper fetching failed.
I never passed as pet.
I bare my teeth, a grin.

Lisa Alvarado is a poet, performer, and installation artist, focusing on identity, spirit, and the body. She is the founder of La Onda Negra Press, and is author of Reclamo and The Housekeeper’s Diary, originally a book of poetry and now a one-woman performance, and is the recipient of grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs, The NEA, and the Ragdale Foundation. Lisa has also completed an ambitious trilogy of performance pieces, REM/Memory, Bury The Bones and Resurgam, whose themes are the culture of violence, popular culture and personal redemption.

Her first novel, Sister Chicas (written with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston) was bought by Penguin/NAL, and released in April 2006. Sister Chicas is a coming of age story concerning the lives of three young Latinas living in Chicago. Sister Chicas won 2nd place Best First Novel in English (Latino Literacy Now/2007) Her book of poetry, Raw Silk Suture, is the newest release by Floricanto Press, and was reviewed by Rigoberto Gonzalez.