A shriek in the night. What is it? Is it a nocturnal raptor closing in on a small-hearted rodent, its blood pumping as it crosses the earth, running and in its desperation feeling the world slide away, the flatness demand stronger muscles; the grass that scrapes its belly become an acclivity, does the prey climb to the peak only to feel the talons enclose its body and tear from puny lungs the shriek that tears the night? Is it an insect on the tree outside your window? Do its legs saw out that tone, or does it make the noise from a spiracle on some body part whose purpose is alien to your own? It could be a squirrel. Squirrels shriek. It could be the ghost of your first mother. She shrieked outside your window once. Once.

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