Taking the final grade
to Shirley Center,
I pedal out of the evening before --
its raccoons squabbling over bread scraps
left for the crows and the mourning doves,
its squirrels squaring off for turf,
its cats in heat -- and past
a cemetery that holds victims
dating from King Philip's Wars.
Then comes the long downslope
to the Great Road,
the freewheel snoring all the way,
and I begin to follow it -- dream,
drift, then swerve at horn-blare
from an overtaking car.
Summer falls from my eyes,
and I see
how heavy the road kill is --
raccoons, rodents, cats, and birds,
fun furs and feathered boas
out of season in July.
Assorted characters of death and blight:
I need metaphor to make the morning right --
to lend its sure design to what I sight.
These are the figures I have from my ride:
that long fugue of road kill,
in which the edges of two worlds
bleed into one another like dreams;
that scene in which death
French-kisses the maiden roughly
and tastes organ meat.