The banker hunts deer on Saturdays. Once he shot a doe and I rendered it for him. His friends begin to bring me their dead deer. The banker’s friends usually only want the back strap and some brisket. I keep the rest for myself. I hack the legs, strip hide with pliers, run a blade across bones, gouge into marrow. It’s a pretty good carnivorous system. I give the scraps to Quadratic. There are lots of those.
“How old did you say you were?” This is how I speak to the dog. I don’t use commands, only questions. Quadratic looks at me as if memorizing notes. Like he’s collecting evidence.
Is it really possible to measure a dog’s life with times tables? There are so many muddy variables—size, weight, and loneliness—it’s easier to plot minutes and seconds.
I want to ask, Yo, did you go after me because I was young?
Some answers are more at home on an arc. Yo photographs me without my clothes on except for a black cape. Later, she flips through the file like she’s counting the photos and not really looking at them. “You’d look so sexy with some blood on that lip of yours,” she says. Scares me.
That phone again. On the tenth ring I answer. It’s one of Yo’s husbands. He is saying that if I want her so much I can have her. I’m leaving, he says, just before the click.
Yo calls me the possible evolution of man. The one that didn’t happen, or tried to happen, but got stopped because of an asteroid or cold weather. Vomitas Erectus. After language, the half-man, half-dog creature disappeared.