My father told us never to look
at the dead animals along the road.
Our Ford sped past the stiff
fuzzy guts, sometimes freshly spilled.
It was out of respect. He said
the same about burned-out houses,
their black windows unblinking.
I wished he’d stop, though, so
I could walk back along the gravelly
shoulder, bend and touch the
crushed legs of a dog or stroke
the small face of a raccoon. Bodies
frozen, their innards like garter snakes
flattened into S-curves on the road.
I wanted to find what was missing,
what had called this carcass home.
from Mañana Magazine
IMAGE:The Enchanted Forest: Marc Chagall’s model for the curtain in the first act of “The Firebird” by Igor Stravinsky, 1945, collage on paper.