With a tail as big as a kite. With a tail as big as a kite.

She strained her eyes
what is that dark lump
in the road
now moving into my throat




Out she went
sighting the black beauty
from fifty paces
nearer, the bright blood
pooling beneath ki’s face

Did he even try to brake
or swerve?
“no”, the tracks and trees say

Maybe the driver didn’t see
the pitch black, moving body
against the snowy white, but otherwise, red road?

Maybe ki darted out,
in front of the royal blue truck
fit for a rural king
doubt of the beneficent

machines
everywhere

carssawsgunsplowsshipsplanesmillstractorsthrowersdozerstruckscombines
boatsturbinesrigsdredgerstrainsbargesroadsrailharborspipeshousesbridges
wellshighwayssewersstructuresquarriesreactorspowerlinesstreetslotsculde
sacsfencessatelliteslockscelltowerssignsculvertswallsdockslandfillsdams

she gently clasps the end of ki’s gorgeous black tail
gingerly pulling him off the road
redundantly committing his spirit
to the universe, aloud
and with apologies for humankind, silently

purposefully committing his body
to a safer spot
for mourning
and carrion feast

Ki’s body was unexpectedly heavy
full of walnuts and seeds
fat and strong for a long winter ahead
so alive just minutes ago, I saw out the window

I’m sorry
I’m sorry
for me
for my kind
for our machines
for our structures
for our carelessness
for our selfishness
for all this,
engineered, manufactured, destroyed

the falling snow christens quick

she wanted to go inside
and sob
selfishly,
because the possibility
of an aberrantly painless holyday
passed with the dead black squirrel

she wanted to go inside
to tell someone
but the only one
was a woman – good, but profoundly unwise
and living individually in the moment
dis-understanding
in the least way
every single day

she wanted to go inside
and forget
but death was also present there
old, not fresh, also unnatural
the stench of a potful of bones, flesh and fat
boiling on the stove
a pig or two’s rib cage
in her favorite cauldron
the one she’d used only for vegetables

she stays silent
swallows her heart and disappears

caw, caw,
caw-caw

the ravens have shown up
for a still-warm, Christmas Eve dinner

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