The dogs are out back. The dogs are out front. The dogs are a flying fur fortress of spit and of snarl, holding the whole house together. Until they are quiet. Until there is calm. Day passes. Night passes. Where are the dogs? Without them the world is too worldly. Without dogs is nothing to drive bankers off. Go outside to call them. Go outside to find dogs but find a bison, massive and dead in your yard. Find a bison where you thought bison were gone beneath Foreclosure and For Sale signs, beneath green lawns and black tar. See dead hide rippling lifelike as amber waves and realize, Oh your god. See a snout bloodied and frothed sniffing air through a tear in the belly. Peer inside, hear heart beating tails echo in that cathedral of ribs. Hear teeth and jaws in ecstasy. They have eaten the heart. They have eaten the lungs. They have left you the skin and the bones, they have left you a vaulted brown ceiling and gnawed so close to the surface that sunlight shines through. Crawl inside, curl your legs, slick yourself in bison blood. Eat what dogs offer and lay red hands on dogs’ bodies both sides of yourself as all three of you slip into sleep. Take sanctuary and wait for the house to collapse upon the bald heads of bankers. All is well within your cathedral. All will be well where the dogs keep you warm.

Steve Himmer’s stories have appeared in journals like Pindeldyboz, and Night Train, and anthologies including What Happened To Us These Last Couple of Years? and A Field Guide to Surreal Botany. His chapbook Well Fed Wolvesis forthcoming from So New Publishing.