Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
He felt it creeping up on him like a peculiar pet
Who wanted to remain unseen,
Who loved his only master yet—as yet—
Lagged behind, eyed him from strange corners
Not wanting to become distracting or be fed
Until the master’s work was over.
Night wailed an eclipse.
World and wonder contracted to an interior room
Of questionable importance. Behind thick curtains.
What the dog recognized by the same signs
As the master did, that no one was talking,
Arms, legs akimbo, all assuming languid poses,
And the corner window swiftly a black, black wall
Unconcerned with response—
Was sleep, sleep, when the shadows want
To enjoy the play, seat themselves where the people
Sat, assume the chairs
Where we once twitched. Prodding—you, if you are still there—
Like a puppet, a puppet.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
The vast hinterlands of the Global South’s cities are generating new solidarities and ideas of what counts as a life worth living.
Protests in China are shining a light not only on the country’s draconian population management but restrictions on workers everywhere.
Support us with a donation this giving season.