person swimming at the pool in grayscale photo

Poetry No. 77 – Hannah Loeb


by Hannah Loeb

you taught our pitbull 
gaia not to bite

a human’s fingers hooked 
inside her jaw

in play. play nice you say.
come on, babe. 

we both know
the last time i came

you did the same 
to me, two fingers

pressing white the gum
behind my teeth and yanking

my head from side to side
as in tug. you slapped me

twice — face, breast —
and like a pitbull

i yanked myself into
a fresh buoyancy, bouncy

hellfire thing to be controlled
by you, dog hair

getting in my mouth 
because she sleeps with us

too. the domination
in your nature

looks right in my eyes
and comes

through: a book hits
the floor, my glasses crunch,
& morning light looks blue

Hannah Loeb is an English PhD candidate at the University of Virginia. She earned her BA from Yale in 2012 and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2015. Her poetry has appeared in Booth, The Moth, Ninth Letter, American Chordata, and elsewhere.

Photo by Martin Lopez on

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