Encounter on N Street, Washington, D.C.

A large mouse runs through white petunias beyond the Middle Eastern Institute. He shows a penchant for specifics: grapes, a sticky candy wrapper, peanuts, gum, one oriole feather for his nest. I likewise argue for details, though I lack his precision, equilibrium on roofs, and speed up gutter spouts. But we are both omnivorous, and if condemned to scurry through the dirt, aim for the sky. The shadows of his toes cast arabesques.

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