(Annabelle is a St. Bernard puppy.)
Her ears are plush and silky but not silky like silk. They are far silkier than silk. They slip through your fingers like a palmful of thin pressed coins dropped into a bucket or running water streaming from a faucet in a thin line. We don’t have names for the things that matter. There’s no word for rubbing a puppy’s ear while they look up at us with doleful eyes. We think they’ve fallen in love with us instantly as we have with them. They haven’t. They’re looking for their mothers. There should be a word for that. For looking for our mothers. There could never be a word for that. Every single one of us is or will be looking for our mothers. Sometimes, it’s rare, but sometimes a good mother dies, leaving metal teapots in our knees, hinged tops clanging when we walk. Sometimes a mother never was, and this plants harmonicas in our palms that burn with small zippered hums when we pat our hair in the morning or reach across the table for a bottle of salad dressing. And then we have mothers who tried so hard but were witness to or cause of such pain, and those mothers drop silverware into our stomachs, utensils split and serrated churn in empty stomachs. There’s nothing to eat. We walk around every day rattling and humming and churning, metal gears grinding and wearing us down into piles of coins, surfaces smooth and faces rubbed off over time. I haven’t bought into the beauty of life.