Eulogy for Week-Old Roadkill
Deer, anus-ways back.
Dear flesh, every dawn your hem
splayed along the shoulder,
crows lining up behind you
on the double-yellow no-passing line.
Dear deer, longitudinal cross-section
of the positions life leaves us in:
obsequious to the point
of vulgarity the tenderness attending
the end of you, peeling from you
the blanket of your traumas.
From any other direction, I will find you
as sunrise does: everything broken
visible, like a battered child
in fake sleep, one eye swollen,
half-open, caught between
watching and blinking.
This is where breath drags itself
from shallower breaths,
where the alluvial floodplain seeps
beneath its netting of dead
mosquitoes, where I am called
under the footbridge’s rusted trusses
out of the winds of a late snow
plunging my eardrums.
Places worth escaping are made
to endure so much ice, little else.
A gosling is learning flight
at the school of her broken wing.
The mother hisses if I move
even slightly, or if my eyes
are any color but the ground’s.
Benjamin Goldberg lives with his wife outside Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Raleigh Review, MAYDAY Magazine, and The Southeast Review, in which he was a finalist in the 2012 Gearhart Poetry Contest. He teaches high school English.