by Elison Alcovendaz




Barkley ran around the backyard, pooping in the corner, pissing in the other, and I followed him around, a taut hand on the leash, trying to lead and not to be led, when he finally began to doze off on a pile of leaves I had neglected to rake the last two weeks, and since it was only 10am on a Monday, and the suburbs were quiet, I went back inside and grabbed my guitar, moved a picnic chair to the middle of the backyard patio, and began to run my fingers across the fretboard, but something wasn’t right and at first I didn’t know what it was, but then I realized it was off tune, and since I’m tone deaf I couldn’t tune it by ear, I decided not to play, but then Barkley woke up and began to howl, and soon all the dogs in the neighborhood were howling, and I began to howl too, but inside, and by the pitch of the collective howls I tuned the guitar, and started to pluck the strings, and sing a song about being free, and by the time I was done all the dogs were silent and Barkley was sleeping again.