The summer we buried the dog I was still seventeen, sweating through July in my grocery store uniform. This was the month that we lost power, that the whole city turned black. I remember ringing groceries when suddenly everything went pitch-dark, metal cans glinting in the no-light. Things got strange that summer, grew legs and teeth and eyes. I couldn’t help feeling like somebody was watching me, like my hometown was a glass slide in god’s microscope. That summer I got high in the tunnel behind the movie theater, the one near the wetlands. Things went murky, got submerged. In Cody’s backseat I watched him move his fingers across my chest, slide a hand between my thighs. I let it happen. I watched and learned, floating above like a voyeur, like a different girl watching a movie scene. The dog was half-dead by the time Cody put him down. He limped and wet himself, lay miserable in summer heat, face pressed against the cool linoleum of the kitchen floor. I didn’t know he would shoot the dog, his big eyes droopy and wet, hair mangy and missing in patches. We buried him the next day. I’m not sure which one I’m supposed to be in this story--the boy or the dog. The dirt or the shovel. The truth is I burned the holes in the mattress myself, let the trash rot, let the maggots lay eggs. I saw the gun next to me in the bed and turned on my side, went to sleep. What is a girl but a set of bared teeth? What is want but a set of steel pliers? When I was seventeen and alive all of this made sense. Nowadays, I’m not so sure.