His dogs rouse to reposition within a fresh increment of shadow. They seek his gaze and are reassured of their existence. Raglike, they refold into stillness. At night, flames grip a log’s underbelly in a scooped corner of random rock and cinder. A large kettle hisses and spits reptilian. The smaller dog growls its disapproval, while the other studies a man face for oracles. And the man moves out of ritual, drains the angry kettle into an old dish. Two dogs watch the waft of steam. They watch two boots placed side by side, now agape with tongues lolling, not…

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