I saw a dead animal every day
for two months—one by one,
five white chickens, a different
hen every other morning, dead
in her cage, blood, black and dry
by dawn. The goldfish floating
in the pond. My horse, Holly,
draped in her blonde mane.
Random wild animals: The deer
on Elder Rd, a raccoon at the curb
of I-85, a bird out of its nest
in the middle of my drive. Pregnant,
a possum lodged under the house,
found by fumes. When they pulled
her out, her decaying belly fell
open with little ones, still intact.
It was the end of love notes
tucked into children’s lunchboxes,
into the ex’s briefcase.
I didn’t know if such carnage
could feed what lived—
as I carried a rat on my shovel
and listened to its body thump
as I tossed it into the brush.