Victoria Mack

Victoria Mack is a Professor of Performing Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design
in Savannah, GA. She spends half her year teaching in Savannah and the other half writing,
acting and directing at home in New York City. Her MFA is from NYU’s Tisch School of the
Arts and her BA is from Barnard College. She has been published in Flash Fiction Magazine,
and was shortlisted for the 2021 Able Muse Write Prize.el, and more.

Good Heart

For rescue dog Nala, adopted and killed the next day

First published in Literary Vegan: An Online Journal, 2021

At the edge of the world there is a door.
Turn the handle, push, walk through: a yellow field.
Waiting, with black-eyed susan tickling her chin, is Nala.
She is honey-colored, smiling. Touch her head. Velvet.

See her fur ripple in the sunlight as you run
your hand down her back. Flecks of gold,
spots of yellow, pink, brown, white.

The scars, gone. The crater, gone.
She is perfect, whole.

Come home. Just below your breastbone, an ache.
You remember her gold, her brown and white, her amber
eyes and black lips. You look at your fingertips, think,

Carry her with you. The world is red, red.
Carry her gold. Be brave. Remember.

Keep your anger sharp. Let it strike the necks it must.
But keep your heart soft, so that when you meet her again,
in a yellow field, you can hear her say: Forgive.

And maybe you can. Then you will look
at your own skin with wonder as it ripples
honey gold and brown, and know that your heart
is finally good enough, good enough,
good, good.