Prose poem

In warehouses, dogs' barking gets lit and tossed back like drinks by aluminum paneling. Yet here I go again: unhappily damming this shallow river. Laying down metaphors when the reality’s much plainer. My mother was lucky she didn’t break her wrist punching the wall. The wall would’ve needed patching before her father figured out about her knuckles. Drinking does that to a man — dams up everything; forces him to remove every dog on the street, warehouse them, then ignore the wailing. I had my broken hand casted in an after-hours clinic by a doctor ten years my senior who’d given up time with family to splint my ring and pinkie fingers and then crack jokes about walls never losing fights. I still throw that punch to remind me two glasses a night isn’t fine. Just imagine life without those two glasses, I think to myself, and you’ll see the problem more clearly than your grandfather ever could have — a simple tingling, like what you feel in your ears once the barking stops, or in your palms after you quit clapping.

Image credit: Ian Espinosa via Unsplash

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