Half a deer on the meridian, blood smeared for half a mile.
A fawn retreats into the meager woods.
A raccoon’s ribs cage the sky and an empty forty,
box turtle flattened to ruined tile,
black snake taken for a ribbon of tar,
one crow’s wing begging a question in the ditch—
Thirty-four and counting.
Too much mute mourning on the artificial wind.
We had come from nests of winter,
from daffodils with raw weeks to go,
to hot skin and roadside azaleas blurring red,
carcasses lining the mad rush toward spring.
When the car docks at the garage,
the dog licks gristle from the grill.
I swear to stay home next year
but know the roaming will insist
and I will slaughter whole families