Ginger has her tongue inside the Boston Terrier’s ear, Minnie, and Minnie is glazed over dreamily, angling-in deeper to Ginger. I’m pressed against the leather couch, part of it, losing sensation of where my skin ends and the leather begins, stuck to it, my good ear facing up. Ginger’s jaws are chomping and her lips are smacking, and it smacks of porn, but that’s just how I think.
There’s strings and piano and sweet Bach in the other room: it’s an Internet station, so it plays forever, at least as long as the signal holds up to the wind.
The lip-smacking and strings blend above the ticking of the clock; the clock I have to reset because the cats get up on a chair and bat at the pendulum, then it just stops all of the sudden like a heart.
The flue in the chimney whistles and the panes shake, and we get a handful of hard rain thrown against it like rocks.
The leaves are coming down and it’s the beginning of the end: the wind makes voices out of nowhere, ghouls harmonizing, a building hum, conspiring to blow out the flame…the cat curls around the modem above the cabinet in the kitchen; the dishwasher could be the ocean tide through a cove, and the washing machine echoes back to it, across the surface.
The pain makes the blues sound sweeter, the cut open heart on display in the middle of an empty, dark museum.
I turn on a slow spit in my head, a scar prickling on my forehead that reminds me I’m the same as him, this voice trapped in a box, trying to get out of the dark speakers.