Caitlyn Alario | STRAY

we named him hector. he followed us on our first trip through the ancient agora & by the second he was escorting us inside, barking at any strange men who came too close to our pack. he looked like any neighbour dog from the town where i grew up—blonde and coarse and well fed. when we first saw him, we called him a stray, but he stayed within the same few blocks every day & every morning we found him in the same place. at the end of that unit, we had to draw the old temples on a map from memory. they were destroyed centuries ago, rebuilt to different gods & destroyed again. now they’re grassy platforms, marked & open, as if the air stays holy when not even rubble remains. weeks later we were jogging to catch the metro to gazi when we saw him trotting alongside another tight ring of girls. we knew not to try to pet him. he never answered to his name.


Caitlyn Alario is a queer poet from Southern California. She received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is a Ph.D. student and Teaching Fellow at the University of North Texas. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in MORIA, Flypaper Lit, Third Coast, and elsewhere.