Last night nearly midnight well after curfew and the fire going out when it started, the barking, first I thought little of it, I was working on a list, my life in lists, this one, what is dangerous to forget. But when you live long enough you learn to hear what the dog in the night is saying and not saying when it barks, when far away it barks, and yet because I know the cops knelt because they were arming themselves to rush the protestors, they were not alongside the protesters praying, that’s how I found myself walking into the tumultuous future past the shadows of MAGA flags like hands trying to erase the painted center line, all the way down, hours after curfew, deserted, the middle of County Line Road, while Clarence, or Charley, a farm dog, I’ve been forgetting names, kept chipping away at it, chipping away the stone of silence that Rilke said closes humans off from animals and angels off from humans, each in turn closed off from the knowledge of their own death. I love my dogs so much, says God.

Any given night, after hours of not sleeping or worse slipping in and out of quarantine anxiety dreams I go out sometimes and lie down with them in the animal night, I think you will understand if I am pretending then to become a figure of varied stars and ages and brightnesses asleep in the heavens revolving on the pinhole the Pole Star makes. You’ll have to look closer than that to find it, it doesn’t shout. The center doesn’t clear Lafayette Square with tear gas and batons then walk to the door of St. John’s Church to pose with a Bible upside down in its right hand. The President is going to kill my wife if I don’t end him first. Every night and every morning I pray his sclerotic heart blacks out, pray his Adderall addiction kicks him, and for the suffocating virus to descend again. And when I’m done praying, back down I retrace the footprints I left as I stepped off the roof beseeching the heavens for all of these things, and whisper to my darkness a promise, how gladly I will eat the President’s liver in hell, but then I just lie down instead, on a pile of blankets with the dogs, and together we listen to the great invisible wings in the top of the chimney make a thumping sound like a pulse, beating.