Friday, April 17, 2015
The mouse bounds along the bottom of the chain link fence: its paws and underside are light tan – its fur darkens along the spine, dark brown with long strands of charcoal gray. The mouse runs with its tail just above the ground – twice as long as its body – long, kinked pale flesh, like a human scar. He runs past the coke bottles and scrap metal, past the plywood and piles of sand and shells. The music of trucks idling and a faint Mexican ballad. A warm damp breeze curls in the orange ditch. The sparrows clinging to the top of the fence chatter and shake themselves in light rain. A grey tabby lies on its back, scratches its shoulders against the dirty sidewalk, its belly fur white, shining like a dull moon. The children inside the fence kneel in a circle on the long, dry grass, whispering and trading small red stars.