22nd century corners

I knead the skin off the gritty flesh of a pear, balling it up into a browned wad that slips onto my lap, under the dusking sky in my small yard. Slightly to my right, six feet up, a rabbit hangs from a big Japanese maple, frosted gummy red glass cooling in the gentle breeze. Its fur and skin in a heap below, blood darkening the dirt surrounding the foot of the tree. The baby’s placenta buried in a corner of the yard, under a cherry tree that bore fruit for the birds and a few for squirrels and very few for us humans. Strawberries in another corner, running along the prickly teeth of the dry ground, leaning fearfully away on their shoulders. I’m alone except for these dead and living animals, living and doomed plantlife. The baby has been born and is with its father. I sit on a case of beer that we’ve forgotten to drink and is probably bad, but I’m alone so I get off and kneel, turn it over, and claw open the perforated paper to reveal the golden cans filled with golden liquid. The rabbit has stopped dripping its lifeblood. I lie back on the grass with my reward, the cool silky box touching my bare arm, wallow in the scene - the lingering birdsong glittering in the well-bottom of the day, the joy of the day - and pour the can of beer into my mouth from my outstretched arm, spilling it into my eyes and down my shirt, down the sides of my face, into my ears. Fizzy little melody hushed by the barrier of my eardrums, the nook behind my ears, above my soft jaw, getting cold and sticky as the wind picks up. The scent of death begins to catch in the chill. I make myself get up in a flash, and smile and laugh at the stupidity of it all - the mystery of it all! Nighttime descends like a crow on its rookery. I cut the meat from the glossy branch, hold it by a small thread with my left hand, carry it around with me while I fling the wet pelt in a plastic bag to throw away, hose down the bed of the tree, rinse my feet off, and walk into the open house, leaving footprints on the soft brick floor that dry instantly, like pushing velvet the other way. I set the meat down on a wide squared corn husk, where it looks like a classical painting, framed by the iris blue tablecloth that’s, in turn, framed by the warm light coming from a corner lamp that’s been on since morning.