for beings with fur

Manzano Open Space is a public space fenced in by the residential and military

It lies in the shadow of the Manzano Weapons Storage Area—a mountain (above) carved out to hold a nuclear stockpile.

The area is carefully fenced and maintained and controlled—except where the tracks of coyotes and other four-legged beings find a way under and through.

A steel sign, made to cap the fence opening, with words collaged from the military signs.

What you see depends on who you are:

If you’re walking the trail, with human eyes, it might catch your eye. Most seem to ignore the fence, with its signs; I hope this draws you to them. And I hope more than anything, that it brings your eyes to this space beneath the fence—an opening. See those tracks? Something is getting through. I want you to see that something that appears so powerful can be subverted. Something always escapes.

If you’re on four legs, what I hope you feel is a smooth plane against your fur, instead of the sharp edge of wire. You cross beneath these fences out of necessity (I think most subversions begin that way) and I hope this makes your passage a bit easier. I want you to know that I tried to use the best materials, so that it will weather and withstand. I hope you can feel the care and intentionality on your body.

If you’re on the other side of the fence—the side I’ve never been on—you’ll only see words telling you whom this is for. I hope it may stop you, as you drive the road, assessing and maintaining the fence. I hope it may cause a pause as it reminds you of other life. I hope you won’t view it as too much of a violation. Just consider it my own patchwork and maintenance.