My dog Jim is a place, a pre-democratic regime without election and superstars. The fleas, lice, worms, and insects that cohabit this kingdom of periodic culling fill it with sombre and bland music. The vet, a weapon wielding war general. Flies visit from afar with new ballads of sharing and sorrow; the bards. The ants are messengers, reserving a sting in their speech. They graze the fur as if grass, plough the skin as if earth. His anger, an earthquake that opens its mouth to annihilate continents, say, bite off a tail. Humans are wildlife photographers living together with pets. Our eyes witness, the rise and fall of wild justice like a night vision camera left in the virgin forest.

 

ADITYA SHANKAR is an Indian poet, flash fiction author, and translator. His poems, fiction, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in the Unbroken Journal, Modern Literature, The Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Ghost Parachute, Canada Quarterly, Indian Literature, MoonPark Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, Unlost Journal, and elsewhere. Books: After Seeing (2006), Party Poopers (2014), XXL (2018, Dhauli Books). He lives in Bangalore, India.