Robin Gow


Robin Gow is a trans and queer poet and Young Adult author from rural Pennsylvania. Robin is the author of the chapbook Honeysuckle by Finishing Line Press and the collection Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy by Tolsun Books. Their first YA novel in verse, A Million Quiet Revolutions, is forthcoming March 2022 with FSG Books for Young Readers and their first essay collection, Blueblood, is forthcoming summer 2021 with the Nasiona Publishing House.



I ask you what it means to return, as you cross the field, mouth empty, eyes bright as loose nickels. When I first came back to my hometown my mother told me, “Did you know there is a dog park now?” We drove around in circles until we finally found a metal fence around where the old ice rink used to be. There, you tumbled across field, panting as I followed you. Today there is another dog and the owner says to me “he never brings the ball back to me—he always runs away with it,” and, forgive me, I talk about you, saying “mine is the opposite, he comes back to me but leaves the ball.” I don’t say how much I appreciate your methods— the way you follow impulse past the object. I want to be more like you. I want to see the ground as nothing more than our vessel. Let’s not ever play fetch then— let’s throw to grass and dirt and the fresh wild violets and return to each other like only bodies can.

I have been trying to write about my dogs for a long time. The pandemic was difficult and very lonely for me as a queer person living alone in a rural area, but oftentimes I found safety in my dogs' love and gentleness. There is so much that humans have to learn from our fellow animals, and I think a lot about the poems my dogs might be writing in their own ways. I wrote this while reading Mary Oliver's Dog Songs.