Dad buried Sable, legs tied and still barking. His first magic act, or the first time he assured me my pets were in magic limbo. His raised middle finger always punctuated his “Abracadabra.” So I flipped the bird at my teacher when she said, “Who’s ready for a surprise?”

Then I snuck out to Goldin’s box. Then I saw the remains of my thirteenth pet—a Balkh Hound, Simon Theodore.

Dad always said shit with emphasis on the vowel. Like two vowels with a hyphen between them, consonants pronounced as vowels, pets pronounced as dead, my shoeprint forced into the cement long after the cement dried. Dad’s Firebird on top of my foot. Dad threw the keys over the roof to mom and said, “You’re going to need to back her up.”

Dad said he couldn’t move one night, said his limbs were paralyzed. Mom smiled, and dad hit the smile in its mouth. Dad said someone pulled the covers from him in the direction of the floor. Said he reached for the blankets and felt an arm, even though he couldn’t move his limbs. Said he pulled the arm and found a boy. A ghost boy who said, “Help,” and dad hit him in the mouth too.

Then I jumped off the roof in dad’s unused ski boots. Then I kicked in the floor with a ski boot.

Mom forgot to open the vent before lighting a fire. The smell of campfire through our house, in all my school clothes. The kids at school told campfire jokes. I joined dad on the roof for his next magic trick, and “Don’t forget to bring Tully.” Dad put a Santa Claus hat on my Alaskan Husky and shoved her into the chimney. When dad opened the vent, my clothes smelled like burnt dog. The kids at school told hotdog jokes. Eventually the smell of cigarette smoke returned to my clothes. I guess they didn’t know any cigarette jokes.

I sat on a skateboard and pushed myself across the blacktop with dad’s unused ski gloves. Our backyard became a makeshift pet graveyard where half of dad’s magic awaited resurrection. Silence. “Out of respect,” mom said. “Out of secrecy,” dad said. Dad told me he would bury mom here. I promised not to tell anyone there was a human corpse in the pet graveyard. The magician’s tricks die with me.

Then I learned how to add color to the print by stencil. Then I learned how to digitally generate sets.