Newly married artists had some money finally
after a wealthy client purchased bits of work.
She had always wanted a dog and he wanted
her to be happy so they went to the shelter to spread
their good fortune around.
The place was kept together but still when walking
the hallways there was a layer of grime over everything
including the dogs. They walked passed all they kennels,
but only stopped when they got to a corner
where a gray hound had scars on its cheeks
that went back to its ears.
They found out from a volunteer that its given name
was Alice and she was at one point a big racer in the city.
“How did she get cut up?” they asked now in the kennel
beside the dog who looked up from her wall afraid
but still and silent. It turned out Alice
couldn’t race anymore because on her last day
at the track the metal rabbit they all chased came
to a halt while in the middle of a race that she
was winning. When she caught up to it
she bit down against the edges and built a smile
out of blood and tearing flesh.
They took her home and did their best to make her
comfortable but all Alice wanted was just to stare
into the walls. They took her on her daily walks
and every time she’d stop halfway and howl
like she was singing to the sky.
They liked having her around and over time she
opened up to them and regained some of her
long neglected heart.
She got out one night and the artists looked for hours
through the streets of their whole town just staring down
into the sidewalk so afraid that they had driven her away.
Just before midnight they found her on some vacant
side street standing in a pool of light that poured down
from the buzzing lamps above. They called and she just didn’t
move so they approached her slowly to find her gaze
was fixed precisely on a rabbit that looked back at her
but wouldn’t run away.