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Companion Animals

Poetry

My Father Not the Sky

My dad used to wake us up at 5 AM on Sundays / with the vacuum cleaner, saying, Get out of bed, / the day is wasting, and then he’d be asleep on the couch // by nine, just as the sun began to lift its head / over the houses.

By Angela Voras-Hills May 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

White Face, Black Eyes

In the hotter months Cactus Country was less a vacation campground and more a land of lost and wandering souls. Like most everyone else who moved to the park during that time, Dave didn’t know how long he would stay or where he would go next.

By Zoë Bossiere April 2024
Poetry

In the Freezer

she kept pig haunches, / the shoulder joints of cows, / buffalo neck and guts, / all stuck to the ziplock bags. / If anyone ever asked, / Mother simply laughed.

By Jodie Hollander April 2024
Poetry

When I Come to Get My Things

I am amazed at how much of my shit I left / with her, and to see it piled in her hallway / clears space in me for what? // I wander my new emptiness / as the small bag of her things I’ve brought / weighs down my hand

By Matthew Siegel March 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Surrogates

Twin had lived inside a concrete kennel for four of her five years. Wylie, who also lived inside a concrete box, had gone to prison as a teen. He’d cared for Twin since she was a puppy, which meant he had likely opened her kennel to feed her and let her out thousands of times.

By Jennifer Bowen March 2024
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Stranger Kin

I don’t recall now if he barked, if he made a sound. How did it happen, that the rest came? They must have been summoned somehow. But it so happened that another dog appeared, lumbering toward us, followed by another, and a third and fourth, until there were five dogs gathered on the rocks. Five huge Istanbul dogs.

By Wiam El-Tamami December 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Lawn Skeletons

As far as I know, the first house in the neighborhood to adopt a year-round skeleton display was a small Cape Cod a couple of blocks from me. The skeletons sat side by side, day after day, in their Adirondack chairs, holding hands as if starring in a Cialis commercial.

By Tom McAllister September 2023
Poetry

Poem In Which I Fail To Teach My Dog How To Fetch

Here, I call, using the sweet voice the vet psychiatrist recommended, not the hell no one I prefer. Here, I call again.

By Shuly Xóchitl Cawood July 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Coach’s Kid

Coach Walls started calling me “Tank.” Coach O’Brien said, “J.P. is out to kill.” Dad said nothing, but every time I looked at him — shin-high socks, gray shorts, V-neck tee with chest hair spilling out, whistle dangling around his neck — he was unable to hide his grin.

By John Paul Scotto July 2023
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Care Warning

Take care of yourself during this essay, whatever that means for you. Perhaps you need to drink a lot of water or unwrap a snack (quietly please!) or play Angry Birds on your phone — whatever works to tamp down your discomfort.

By Brenda Miller May 2023