The Bond for Stacy Hardy
The dry August air reeks of wood and ash and the smoke plumes leaving the rocky bowl of the San Gabriels sink to kiss the lawn.
The dogs bark themselves hoarse, their frightened black throats as charred as the wounded hillsides. No refuge for coyotes, raccoons, or the striped skunk,
as they scatter like sparks from a camper’s hearth. What is power if not the ability to dislodge the living from their synchronous groove? After six months of death and disease, the rabbits stir from their nests in the crevices of rusty engines and people finally begin to mourn.
On Verdugo, a cardboard placard stapled to a half-stripped tree, reads: ‘Goodbye, Emilio’, or, as the newspapers called him, John Doe #283,
but nobody’s heart’s large enough to hold all the names of the fallen. On either side of the boulevard, a slew of recession-raptured businesses:
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