A two days ride west, we found the land and sky alone, shacked up together as the horizon suggested. I was tasked to drag the land back to town and, when its own grit and friction failed to cleanse it, to racket over clothesline as a rhythm to lecture. And after my fill of drink and shoulder ache we set it wild outside the fences to watch the sky scar over with birds.
Teacher stepped circles around the room, giving air to the vultures while they traded bellies by the beak. We noted the likeness to a bladder’s sides squeezed in turn, the sloshing and gulping; a chain rattling and squawking. They were a well-oiled track dynamiting through a mountain that divides territories. The day’s lesson was democracy.
Francesco Grisanzio is the author of the chapbook Stories & Centauries (Strange Machine Books 2013). His work has recently appeared in Jellyfish, Front Porch, Handsome, and a Greying Ghost pamphlet.