Birch trees, dragonflies and fishers live
beneath the same night sky as David 
when the glass windshield in his pickup truck 
bursts forth into the grass, shining like black ice, 
like black lace, tumbling with a speed almost equal 
to the bullet that speeds through his brain, his upraised
arm dropping, not as fast, clumsy, his mouth emitting 
an exclamation, not a word, not an apology, not even 
a sob, and it could be that lizards, moles, chipmunks 
moving in thickets freeze for a moment, it could be
that the owl cocks its wing, glides back to the safety 
of a limb, the hulking blanket of night rumpled and shaken, 
small noises pierced by a sharp blast, the constellation 
of broken skull, not unknown beside the black water of the lake 
during that block of days in hunting season when orange-clad men
roam the woods and the sun shudders across the sky, 
when almost all the leaves have fallen or hang askew on twigs— 
hunters in pairs, in groups—not like David sitting alone in his truck
who swallows the quiet like a snake swallowing its prey, 
jaw unhinged, muscles contracting, mouth fully open.

The Sow's Ear Review
May 2018