The Isaiah 34 Animals of Desolation, in a Barnes & Noble
I plodded to the papery
haven on a cold, frosted
A hawk sat there. Clawed atop the store’s
serifed letters. He surveyed the world through
my face, then dove for something defenseless
A porcupine waddled between my feet as
I walked into the foyer. I wanted to follow
it, but his quills tensed.
An owl conversed with a raven in bird
yell, but when I approached the shelf
they sat upon, they both fell silent, eyed
A jackal narrowed his eyes as he growled in
the children’s section. He slapped Goodnight,
Moon off the shelf with his paw.
A hyena and his pack shrieked in
laughter finding the aroma of
vulnerability in the Self-Help
The wild goat nibbled,
chewed, ate furniture and
startled people out of their
The jackal, however, zoned in on a toddler
eating a scone in the café. He snarled and
snapped, teeth bared and sharp.
The child looked upon it, scolded, “No!” in a
gentle but powerful voice, tapped the jackal’s
snout. It sat in obedience.
Cover image by Rumman Amin.