Roadkill Coyote

sprawls across the centerline

backleg broken * round glazed

eyes glassy as marbles

unwavering * unblinking

as the world rolls by

now unnoticed or maybe

all seen & thus merely

unremarkable * no fudge

or flinch of instinct * just

the cold last look of it all


i turn the car around &

go back to the body * drag her

off the road * steam rises

when i stroke her flanks

the jaw locked open * canine

teeth menacing even in death


i take out my knife * sing

a death song & thanking coyote

i cut off her tail

fur too beautiful to bury

& then pull her hind end

deeper into the rabbitbrush

beside the highway’s shoulder


all the way home * down

the canyon & up Norwood Hill

singing her

back into the mystery