Dogs in Space

By | 1 August 2010

Somewhere in Patagonia, an old man carries an axe, and a kitten blows like tumbleweed down a street otherwise empty. The closed storefronts are vacant as dreams, and the traffic lights like absence before the raw wind. It is barely dawn. At the bus stop, near a corner shop with peeling skin, the dogs begin to arrive, one by one, some greeting each other, silently, others standing or sitting alone. There is a dog with one eye, and another with three legs perched on the doorway ledge of the corner store, its windows boarded as if there was something terrible. Then comes an old woman with a wooden cart, one wheel shrieking. When she stops, she props the lid of her cart ajar for viewing. Next, there are the strangers, their backpacks stuffed with sleep. Some of the passengers arrive on foot, others in taxis. They bring the noise, and the day grows sturdy. The people are people. The dogs are dogs. The bus arrives like market day. And departs like evening. The dogs mill like litter in its lee, and the old woman closes the lid of her wagon against the wind. Then the dogs cross the road, some alone, others together, to the lonely panic of the pedestrian lights.


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