top of page

Passing a Billboard That Reads, “Dogs Can Smell Your Feelings”


Image by Pawel Czerwinski

We credit them for their uncanny empathy,

the way they just seem to know what we’re thinking,

but maybe it’s the way our sadness smells

like the thick plank of a fresh steak.


Unbeknownst to us, maybe our happiness has a pulpy aroma,

like the ivory knot of a pebbled bone.

Is anger the musty rubber odor of the lurking vacuum cleaner?

Is anxiety a perfume of squirrels darting like paintbrushes?


Maybe hubris is the wind-mixed sweat of strangers at the door,

and heartbreak is the jewelry of dew in the park’s grass.

There are nights our dogs are our closest companions,

but they may more regard us like a candle softening on the table.

Devon Neal (he/him) is a Bardstown, KY resident who received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Eastern Kentucky University and an MBA from The University of the Cumberlands. He currently works as a Human Resources Manager in Louisville, KY. His work has been featured in Moss Puppy Magazine, Dead Peasant, Paddler Press, MIDLVLMAG, and others.

bottom of page