I heard them last night. I woke up around five in the morning, tired but unable to go back to sleep. And so I wandered in the darkened house, stopping after a bit to stand by the French doors that open onto our deck. The yard was painted faintly with light, although the moon should have long been down. It was very quiet, no whisper even of wind. Then I heard them, a brittle howling that swelled from one voice to two, to three, to many. For a moment the night took on a texture of sound, the wild language of coyotes raised in meanings I could not translate. Then the dogs erupted into barking all over the neighborhood. The coyotes fell silent; the dogs raged on. Civilization versus savagery. Civilization always lags behind, always follows, only to find when it arrives that the savage has melted away. As if it had never been.
* * *
Special thanks to Lana for updating my webpage for me. You rock.