Volume 9 Issue 2

On the Habits of Coyotes

My girlfriend tells me we’re haunted by dead coyotes. In a blue room in a grey house in Milwaukie, we cut up t-shirts I can’t fit in anymore and M tells me she can hear the ghosts howling.

“That doesn’t really sound like a coyote,” I say when she makes the noise for me, an eee-eee-eee sort of noise that sounds more like a dolphin than a phantom coyote.

“I’m not doing it right—do you hear it now? It’s there,” and she stands on the stacked foam mattress toppers to see out the window.

The summer house is at the edge of Johnson Creek, a three bedroom rental two blocks from a TriMet station. We spend weekends in the sun, smoking joints and pulling the house from swelling vines of blackberry and clematis. They root into the grey frame and I’m worried one day the earth might swallow the house whole.

Big gulp.

“It’s probably just the Gold Man,” I tell M when she won’t stop looking out the window.