To the dead coyote on the side of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

By Regan Schell


there will be green. 

There will be golden light

and no glass to reflect it. 

In the sandy culverts, 

highway-side, rubies grow 

on dandelion stems. 

Honeybees visit like dancers 

on stilts, here for a moment, 

then loping on to the next. 

Sadness clings like wet bed sheets 

on skin, 

skin clings like pollen 

on a windowsill. 

Underneath the unfound dream 

of a flower egg, 

there is the hope of sunlight. 

Underneath your sleeping eyelid, 

maggots feast on the sight 

of yellow light-cones. 

We are sloughing through 

to the next thing. 

We are demanding to look 

in its face. 

We have no plan for 

if it speaks. 

Teeth like the edge of a river rock, 

throating the air, 

searching for the language 

to accuse. 

Soil knows its purpose, 

the worm whispers 

its passing by. 

The metal pole standing here 

knows it can only observe, 

and the spinning of 

the solid ground goes unnoticed. 

Each time a headlight passes, 

you become another spirit, 

the talisman around 

the neck of the mountain, 

the head on the pike 

to frighten the crows.