Roadkill

eye contact
with a dead deer
on the side of the highway

his eyes were open
facing oncoming traffic
neither happy nor sad

just dead
face intact
a mangled cute

because I don’t find deer
particularly cute
nor useful when alive

(here I am
another man
valuing appearance

as commodity)
but I don’t want
to kill them

I am on my way
to see my underpaid
overworked partner

on memorial day
passing cop
after waiting

cop
and I swear
there are

more carcasses
than usual
in the tall grass

 

(originally published in In Parentheses, Spring 2020)

Last Memorial Day

We walked to the Cultural District to be
at the jazz festival & basked in the sax of Nubya

Garcia beside men on mushrooms grooving
underneath eternal heat, sweat in the air

everywhere. It was a rare off being free
to roam in the spring-summer-autumn days

of Lone Wolf. This year, we seek public stairs
down the warehouse side of Liberty Avenue,

past the church turned brewery & power
plant we nearly lived across from. Above’s the plentiful

hill with blue water tower, where we pretend the mayor
lives inside its steel blue dome with all the rich hidden

in the hills with their crow vision. The community
pool is empty. The boring streets to drive through

are the interesting ones to hike with uneven brick &
ramshackle storefronts never noticed. Here’s a record

shop for anarchists. In this decrepit year we look to fill
my head with chaos to make sense of the field around us.

We have been walking & walking the sunset magenta
over Bloomfield Bridge yet summer seems a year away.


(originally published in Selcouth Station, Spring 2021)