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ISSUE:  Fall 2021


Yesterday a milk snake. The day before, a baby skunk. Today a sapsucker.

—Chip Blake

What damage do I do?
The night avoids my eyes, so does the road.
I am never wholly myself, unto myself. 

I need to know the life span 
of the June bug who, like a small bison, 
headbutts my summer screen door, 

why the luna moth has no mouth,
or if it was a sapsucker not a downy woodpecker 
at the feeder a few days ago.

A friend of mine stops to bury
any roadkill he comes across, 
each journey he takes is like the end

of a war, the dead lining a road
that was supposed to lead to somewhere
greater. I saw the first firefly

of the season not out in the field
hovering like a star above the unwieldy
night grass, but on the window near the light

on my desk, his own light dark.
I have held the dead
in my hands like my friend. 

And like him, I want to leave
nothing to strangers. I want to bury
all that I find with its hunger and awe.



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