Frances Leviston

· Poem of the day,Death


If you have hit a deer on the road at dusk;

climbed, shivering, out of your car

with curses to investigate the damage

done, and found it split apart and steaming

far-flung in the nettle-bed, utterly beyond repair,

then you have seen what is not meant to be seen,

is packed in cannily, coiled like parachute silks,

but unputbackable, out for the world

to witness: the looping, slicked-up clockspring

flesh’s pink, mauve, arterial red,

and there a still-pulsing web of royal veins

bearing the bad news back to the heart;

something broken, something hard, black,

the burst bowel fouling the meat

exposed for what it is, found out, as Judas,

ripped from groin to gizzard, was found

at dawn on the elder tree, still tethered to earth

by all the ropes and anchors of his life.

—Frances Leviston (The voice in my ear)

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