Gray pup, eager for the schoolchildren—the ones who leave clouds of hot breath on the glass, and not the sticky hands which pound for her attention. She chases them along the barrier, practicing her squeak of a howl, before noticing their smirks. They expect her to act this way; the sign fails to mention she was born here, too. She never saw Turkey, but finds its presence in her father’s sulk, his endless slumber in a pretend cave. She mimics him, rolling around on imported grass which reeks of elsewhere. The children bore her now, but there is a man with silver hair, who bends a knee to look at her through the glass. He laughs as her claws scratch for his pink fingers, dancing on the other side; he does not know that they bleed at night, that licking the wounds is the only way to heal them.
Özten Paul is a two-spirit writer from Winnipeg (Treaty 1), with obvious daddy issues.