071. Hope. Karen Walker

I hope that’s water I’ve stepped in.

Flick on the bare bulb. Nope. There’s a yellow puddle on the cracked linoleum.

Daisy will hold it through the night soon. My furry white roly-poly will have a backyard, grass someday. I’ll build a tall fence. Until then, I shiver in the black alley at 11 p.m., 2 a.m., 5.

What’s a little more pee down here behind our low-rent? Stinks. I pull her away from garbage, watch for needles. Rats.

There’s one in a doorway: Slick John. Sold me nightly when I was a pretty pup. “Hey, cutie,” he says.

Daisy growls.

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