His bray begins with a shallow
panting, as he aligns the end of his
nose level with his back, his ears
splay flat as the horizon. Then his ribs
spread wide, gasping more air in
and sounding the long exhale,
punctuated by the flexing of his belly
muscles for a prodigious honking
howl, as a rumbling of air from his
posterior joins in in rhythm. He calls
me out, the sun sets earlier this month.
Standing from my desk, pushing past
a teetering pile of unopened envelopes,
Medicare paperwork reminding me
that age is stacked against me, as if
there is insurance against the passing
of time. I lift my chin to open my
throat and fill my lesser lungs, calling
his name back, clear and strong, and
his oral convulsions rest, acknowledged.
How long has he been with me? A
donkey’s years, as long as a donkey’s
ears. Go outside and join him to
mark the rising of the moon. Grab
a mug on the way, ignore the tepid
tea in favor of a thick Cabernet.
A drool could develop any day
now and it leaves a prettier stain.
Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
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