Up and down the brick alley staircase people come and go.
Even the uninvited come and go. Even the dog
someone sometimes uses for a napkin. The dog is in love.
So are you. Here is where you might expect to hear
the Big O's Try A Little Tenderness. People pass through
the small kitchen and no one has seen Nancy since the incident
with the ginger-spiced muffins. You notice a pattern and
fill in the futures. On the Market Street rooftops
whole families stared backwards into the night. You know
because you've read it somewhere or seen it in a movie
or because it was your family too and had you been born
you would be dead. This isn't the point. You are broken
which is different from though similar to being empty.
In the suburbs, the black crows are next, then the goldfinches,
and then the hummingbirds last because they are small and solitary.
Speak up. If this sounds familiar and you despise the Vermeer
and the lacquer, we are getting somewhere closer to tomorrow.
Inside the apartment the dog pads over. You have a hard time
telling the dog's gender. You weren't aware at first,
but it was your voice that called for the dog. You hear the bird
call of a screen door opening and closing into the alleyway.
Strictly speaking, this is a kind of prayer. The animals
that have entered our orbit are mulling mutiny. The mumbling
patter threatens like a sodden sky. This is the cup
and this is the chair. Even the uninvited are punctual.