Stuart Dischell

The Laugh of the Thief

There was a tumbleweed
Behind the house whispering
To his tall friend the cactus
About blue scat the wild dog made
About an hour after he ate
The child’s play doh rabbit,
Salty from her hands and the chemicals
Its color and texture were composed of–
And while the pair in the moonlight chortled,
The wild dog in the tall grass
Recounted to himself how the day
Began not badly, an overturned
Trash can by the rest stop,
A dove with a broken wing,
Slow lizards at noon, a windfall
Of chicken bones in a bag at dusk.
And maybe later in the half harvested field
Rats in the furrows when he felt better.




“The Laugh of the Thief” is from Backwards Days (Penguin, October 2007).