Ritual by Elaine Wang

You shot them.
Two beautiful purebred dogs
Siberian Huskies, each
In the head,

They were sniffing around your chickens,
Biting a few,
Killing a few.
And this I understand,
Those birds are easily excitable, and they start
Clucking, and in the way acquaintances soon become intolerable
When they start squawking and screaming,
The dogs would snap up a chicken,
One each,
Around the throat,
to tell them,
               “Shut up”
Shut up
Someone is coming
He is not a friend.

The bullet, zipping through the air,
Silent now after bursting “Hallelujah!”
From its pre-natal chamber,
Rides the wind. It is done playing
And it pierces a skull, rollicking
in the explosive greeting.
His twin brother,
Born seconds after,
Grabs Esau’s heel and follows his steps.

My dogs,
My companions,
My sons of snow and survival
They died an ignominious death, with yelps
And lived through a funeral of disgrace
When you hog-tied them and dumped them on my doorstep this morning.

Elaine_Wang Elaine Wang was baking a strawberry cake one evening when she came upon a revelation about herself: That she was a perfectionist that hated following rules. “My life is going to be hard,” she said, as she (probably incorrectly) folded the strawberries into the batter. She has been published in Zero Ducats, Hot House, Analecta, and Spires. Her photography has been published in The Lantern Review. She currently lives with a large and glorious orange Maine Coon cat named Hebby.



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