From the top of the Bull Street library’s rooftop, compressors groan, and pneumatic tools bang and whine and almost drown out the workmen’s crisscrossing commands.

Those guys are, undoubtedly, among the crews Cara has seen throw lunch scraps out their truck windows. On sultry mornings

like today,

her Black Russian Terrier, Piper, will rush for nothing except the chicken bits. Gray bones camouflaged on stained concrete. Some Piper will swallow before Cara can get on her knees to wrestle the splinter-dangers from between his slimy cheeks and deflecting tongue. He’ll dance and gulp; Cara will get slobbered;

Savannahians in starched outfits may saunter by and stare.

Piper curls over to shit on the library plaza’s coarse tiles. Cara waits.

The sun glares. Perspiration dribbles beneath her sleeveless shirt and shorts. The half-year she’s lived in Savannah, Cara has come to accept she drips;

she doesn’t dew like the local ladies’ claim.

Though Piper, with his knotty fur, must suffer worse. Cara reaches to rub his head, halts:

she shouldn’t distract.

The silence makes her squint toward the top of the library. Men backlit in haloed hardhats stand along the makeshift pine rail.

“Lemme lick ya lollipop legs,” someone shouts and incites crass laughter.

“I’ll never dump you,” shouts another.

Piper bobs his rear:

done.

“I’ll sue your company,” Cara yells at the workers,

louder than they.

The driver of a Porsche cabriolet that passes just then shoots her a side-glance. His red tie flutters.

“For fucking harassment,” she yells, harder yet, cheeks burning.

The lip of men

drops back out of sight.

She collects Piper’s shit with a biodegradable bag.

Why couldn’t they just have tossed a bone?

 

Pernille AEgidius Dake

Pernille AEgidius Dake was a finalist for Glimmer Train Press 2014 New Writer Award as well as December’s 2015 Curt Johnson Prose Award and has been published in Skirt!, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Adelaide Literary Magazine, Dime Show Review, Glassworks Magazine, and is forthcoming in Adelaide and Typehouse Literary Magazine. She is an MFA Candidate in Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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