City of Dogs
by Tammy Armstrong
A tectonic recipe: pie crust crumbled
with a silver tine, pressured by a thumb:
San Andreas is a temperamental housewife
the reason we all prefer to be single in the end
in the end we are a camphor sting of paranoia
a good bottle of Havana Club, an E-mail letter
love, long distance from the fault line the dogs sniff out.
There is a situation: inside a shower, face in a band of spray
the tremor, hairline fracture to real estate
the survival kit beneath the basement work bench
tupperware among puddled turpentine
hung high from the rafters
splintering, collapsible appendages
this house will sleep above a city of liquid soil
trees will moan more than toothpicked girders
each a cursory symbol of this green green city
all of its accordion creases.
Near Chinatown, a woolpack of spice
bottle rockets, chest-heaves
ribbons of sound into the dust hewn sky
after shocks, aftermath:
the parade moves on
an anthem of dogs begging us out-
they have known new beginnings before.
might be a cat person.