The dog forgets the leg he's used to sleeping with. He pulls himself closer to the boards
that hold the bed stable, his breathing long, long, long, then awake.
There is a breeze that inconsistently hits the screen in the bedroom window; there's a
shuffling on the sidewalk outside, a cough, somebody that sounds like they’re far away.
Sometimes a bag of groceries scrapes against a vinyl threshold, bends a cedar porch
board. In the morning other people click their deadbolts with spare keys, bend hinges into
hallways, shout something, remove their shoes, put down their things.
There is a sound like wind through bare branches, like ice on brick sills, like ice on
closed storm doors, warmth that suddenly begins, then dissipates.
The dog presses his nose to the air that sneaks out of the weather stripping, carries his
bowl behind a curtain and remains there.
Soon enough one cloud comes, then another, then a story. A man will dial the wrong
number on the buzzer. Someone’s breath will catch before it gives way.
SARAH CARSON was born and raised in Michigan but now lives in Chicago. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous journals including Columbia Poetry Review, Cream City Review, the Nashville Review, the New Orleans Review, and Whiskey Island. She is the author of three chapbooks and two forthcoming full-length collections: Poems in which You Die (BatCat Press, 2014) and Buick City (Mayapple Press, 2015). Sometimes she blogs at sarahamycarson.wordpress.com.