Evening in the Rabies Lab


Tonight, I’m sleepless under

double-lashed eyes of horses,

other people’s pets. I know

that harsh fluorescent lab light

where they doze on wire carts,

listening for raccoon and fox.

The complaining heads of seven

barn-cats shiver in the fridge.

I placed them there with a badly

packaged horse head, white blazed,

bleeding-out on a bottom shelf.

In my tossing, a Labradoodle

rolls three times, snores in a box.

I hear those barn-cats whisper nip,

discuss hay and woodchips with the horse.

Otherwise, there’s cinder-block quiet

in the head-cracking room. The dog

still dumb, the sun rising, I’m back

at work. I shave brain slices thin,

reflect on bat bites in the day, a crazy

tingling under-hide, that baffled boy

they bit before decapitation.

First Publication: White Stag Literary Journal, Volume IV, Issue I, Ghost Motel, 2017