From the dusky claustrophobic bedroom,
I watch the storm roll in.
It was dark when it started,
now light gray sneaks by.

My corgi has been in bed with me since 6:30 am.
6:30 was two hours ago.
Cowering under the covers.
He barks at the storm,
with each thunder crack.
He does not understand.
He is terrified by this unknown attack.

I sympathize with him.
I do not fear the storm,
my base of the skull bickering finds solace
in the white noise of the precipitation.

But I know the muscle tension
in his body as he lays here with me.
I know the feeling fear makes
when it is drawn tight against your bone.

I hear his theory of the unknown.
Dog brains have enough
neural horsepower to imagine.
To create explanations for the unknown,
even if they lack the language for it.

And if a corgi brain works anything like mine,
the image painted on the sistine chapel
of wet skull is startling in it’s starkness.

If silence can be a rabbit hole,
a tornado of maybes that don’t have answers,
what must it be like when the unseeable,
omnipresent fear has a sound?
Rattles the windows?

I tell my corgi fairytale bedtime stories.
About how Thor lives above us,
in the clouds up there.
I tell him that Thor and his dad are fighting,
like we fight,
this corgi and I.

Maybe Thor ate an entire box of watercolor pencils again.

Maybe Thor rolled all over the clean laundry with his awful corgi body.

I make Thor reflect my corgi,
since Gods are more relatable when they are in our image.

Maybe, Maybe Thor ate the liners out of an important pair of shoes
and then puked up the mess all over the kitchen floor again.

Thor and his dad are fighting.
Thor is throwing his hammer around.
But they aren’t mad at us,
punnie humans and punnie corgis.

I tell him in a soothing tone that this will pass.

I tell him that this room is our cave,
that we are safe here.
That the dark will hide us,

I tell him that time will heal the emotional wounds
of the creatures above us.
That we just have to ride out this storm.

Eventually, as the windows stop shaking,
the corgi, his body relaxes.
See? I say.
See? It stopped. Thor and his dad made up.

The corgi is asleep now.
His body soft against mine.
The storm has passed.
But I stay with him in the dark.
In the gray

After all, it is nearly nine in the morning,
and I am still in bed.
In the cave.
I am still talking to the corgi.
I am still refusing to go outside.

I have gotten good at these fairy tale yarns
of how the storm will pass for him.

But in the eye of the storm it is still so hard
for me to see how the sun will rise again.

And everything I tell myself,
words I pray will taste like fairy tales?
They only taste like pennies and lies.

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