UNHINGED - barry graham

It's almost morning and the moon is still up and momma's talking but not with words - with teeth and tongue and mucus from the strong part of her throat. I pet the top of her head.

Sometimes she comes right out when I unlatch the hinges and sometimes she waits for me to wrap the chain around her neck and pull.

After daddy died it felt better to keep momma locked up. I keep her watered and fed and when she needs to piss I let her piss and when she needs to shit I watch and wait with a handful of paper towels and wipe her clean. She only got sore once.

But mostly I keep her locked up.

It's an old cage daddy stole from a tuna fisherman off the Alabama coast two years after Katrina blew us into pieces that no one knew how to put back together. It was the same night he lost three fingers and a thumb breaking up a dog fight just south of Mobile. Daddy figured that fisherman owed him for the fingers and for one of his pit bull bitches that never made it back home. She was pretty that bitch was. And mean. Momma loved her. She named her Moolah and took her everywhere she went. But now Moolah's dead and daddy's dead and something about keeping momma in that cage just feels true for both of us.

Barry Graham
Love is a Dog From Hell
Charles Bukowski