This Moment: 5:41 June 3, 2012

The small dog is yipping as if he is being stung repeatedly by hornets. His breath is rapid and labored. The neighbor's friend has brought her dog and its scent must be informing the air of its fertility. My small dog paws furiously at the side French doors, regardless of my admonitions, then turns to plead his case once again. Earlier this morning a thin black snake wriggled near my foot. I watched dispassionately as it scurried away into a clump of weeds. My daughter is on the bed texting with both thumbs. The small dog lies next to her, head up, alert to the threat of passing cars. The old dog sits on the bedroom rug, ears pointed forward listening to the cat yowl. A tank-sized black suburban lumbers slowly up the street. My daughter rolls off the bed and walks out of the room bent over her phone. A neighborhood dog is barking a high-pitched complaint. It seems all the neighborhood animals are on edge. For a moment I wonder about the possibility of an earthquake, turning the earth beneath my home to liquid sand. The passing cars sound like the drone of hornets swarming. I hear the dove that lives in the pine cooing in it's nest. Earlier it flew from the tree in a panic and knocked a small egg from the nest. I bent to retrieve the egg, thinking to place it back in the thatched hold, but the bloody yolk slipped out of the shell, revealing the black alien eye of the embyro. The heat of the day feels oppressive, like a hand pressing the small of my back, pushing me from one task to another. Both dogs are stretched out on the bedroom rug, their heads resting on their front paws. The dove is relentless with its song of loss and despair.

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