“Leaving Home” by Jessica Jacobs.

The koi were killed by a possum killed by
our dog, whose barks brought my dad to the dark
yard, along with me – the stand‑in son, his
midnight shadow. In the glower of the flashlight,
the dog’s eyes were red and rolling, the possum’s
fur bright as an errant scrap of daylight.
The dog wouldn’t put it down, bent the pipe
of the pool skimmer used to lever the body
free from his jaws. My parents gave the dog away
soon after. Because, I suspect,
wildness can live in the suburbs only so long
as it doesn’t bare its teeth; so long as when the light
finds it, it drops its prey and wags its tail;
so long as we confine our darkness to the dark.

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