by Jessica Otto

Home scratches at its shingles and pulls the air conditioning unit to its glass paned back door with tree-like arms and keens a deafening whale song of mourning. We captured it from the wild three months ago; it was starving and we fed it pieces of dining room tables and gas key fire places, we gave it a new roof and a solid foundation, regular walks around the wolf pen (let it mingle with the vultures I said, but no one would listen). The vet found rot and mold in its corners; Home was force fed antibiotics and had to be quarantined for fifteen days while it belched chairs and sofa cushions and microwaves. After feeding time Home likes to sit back porch facing east and picture window by the peeling paint of the front door facing west, Home will sit and watch the sun set for hours, Home will stay like that all though the night. The creaks of the floorboards are like the old knee injury I use as a barometer; sometimes Home shakes when the tornadoes come through. It probably has bad memories or perhaps ecstatic ones — who knows why animals shake — when it rains Home hitches up its porch and hops from one foot to the other avoiding the puddles where it can.


Jessica Otto lives in an apartment with her husband and cats.