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