• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

Antique Harbingers

Jake’s pressed against greyed planks of a dilapidated
building like a full-figured cardboard cutout just
staring obliquely at some long-lost phantom lover.

Life surrounds the former veterinarian/animal groomer:
exotic caged birds climb stainless steel horizontal bars,
entertain themselves, mimic oglers, seek flight mid song.

While cats roam freely, perching themselves on step ladders
staring at the miniature aviaries, out of reach from the
perturbed point setter chained to a silhouette’s thin knee.

Other disheveled dogs bark at unrestrained feline fatale,
one glaring at pedestrians, others pouting in boredom,
curled up on the front porch of a once thriving business.

Still the bird & dog fancier looks on unmoved, eternally
fixed like a jaundice photo, highlighting yellow membranes
amid parchment textures, sepia shades, & saffron hues.

Jake & his animals find comfort among the living & the dead,
splintered wood tells their tales, offers weathered sustenance
to flesh & blood supplicants briskly breathing another day.

Their posture’s more than a languishing power pause as
exceptional birds hope for freedom, deified cats lord over all,
& dogs exist eagerly—even when bound—to please everyone.