roadkill

over ten dead skunks on the side of the road
and an opossum, bleeding out in the middle
of a neighborhood street. this seems an inordinate

amount of animal death for a month and a half
worth of time. maybe I’m just becoming better
at spotting a wild carcass.

we had an opossum at the nature center; she was
a popular animal among Asian tourists I was told.
the one in the street was caught by my headlights

leaning on shaky, busted limbs. gore was pouring
out its broken mouth. I wanted to pull over and
kill it

to end the suffering. so it could not just play dead,
but stay
that way.

you know me. I couldn’t do anything but drive on.
and I wondered what would have happened had I hit
the creature with my car, swerved to knock it closer
towards the black. would that have been kindness?

I think the skunks are an omen, and the dying
marsupial is a bloody message trying to drive
home some point. I can’t speak nature to save my life.
I can glean as much meaning from a bird song as

a mustelid corpse. maybe I counted wrong. maybe
there were thirteen dead skunks.
that would have to mean something. but maybe
I’m just becoming better at spotting a wild carcass.