June 7, 2011 by The Citron Review
by Joseph Alan Hasinger
The streets in our neighborhood never belonged to us. Everything about them was canine. The front lawns, brown and matted like fur. The telephones poles were long, jagged teeth. These are dog streets, we used to say.
And at night, when the streetlights buzzed on, the strays would come out in packs, rival gangs wandering and owning, eager to taste. Their turf wars were endless. I could hardly sleep from their noise.
We could hear them from my bedroom. My beagle, Max, and I would hide beneath the sheets. Listening. Sometimes they’d come right up to the house, paw and scratch at my window. They were taunting Max, I knew it, and he’d look up at me with uncertain eyes and tremble. I’ve put all that behind me, he seemed to want to say. I’m a good dog now.
Joseph Alan Hasinger currently lives in Roanoke, Virginia. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hollins University and has work forthcoming in Stanley the Whale magazine.