my sister’s dog got hit by a car, she said, i need you
to come over and get rid of it before she gets home.
the dog was small. we wrapped it up in a trash bag
and took it to the dump. i had to heave it over the
fence, which was higher than i’d remembered. the
dog hit the top of it and fell back on the pavement.
the plastic snapped in the wind. i picked it up. fuck,
she said, standing back by the car, do you need help.
with each lob i turned away with a fuck, the brown
thud coming back to me. the car was running, traffic
racing past. i loosened my collar, squatting at the
fence, then looked over my shoulder. come on, she
said, hurry up it’s cold!
i cornered a mouse on the counter and it slipped into the sink.
i had a frying pan, the future was mine. so why don’t you wanna
get a house, my wife asked, opening the shutters. there is a flaccid
no which we say means yes, prostrate on the polished surface.
let’s build condos here, someone says. spread the word.
windows go up and cats look out of them. the cats believe
they are playing with something. i am not quite the cats—
i don’t know what to do. i feed the cats. i chase myself
around the house. the house must not leave the house.
mom, i’m gonna kill the cat, rudy says. when he says mom
he also means rain. some of the rain right now is cat piss.
the cat pissed on my t-shirt, rudy says. so wash it, his mom
says. the water sparkles in his ears. he puts his hand in the
shirt, in the piss, then smacks his mom in the face—how do you
like it, he says. then they’re screaming at each other and
throwing things, colors splashing into colors. it’s all rain, it
doesn’t matter. afterwards he lies like a fish on his bed, chin
over the edge, eyes blinking.
Ryan Eckes lives in South Philadelphia. His poetry can be read in XConnect, Fanzine, Cue: A Journal of Prose Poetry, the ixnay reader 4, PhillySound, in his chapbook when i come here (Plan B Press, 2007), and on his blog, Old News (ryaneckes.blogspot.com). He has an MA in creative writing from Temple University, where he currently teaches.