Dead Animals and Other Things I Avoid Thinking About

by Gretchen Rockwell


I’ve been thinking about roadkill and the way I don’t notice it


for more than the second it takes to swerve

around the bloodied body. I feel I should

feel worse about this—though I’d feel terrible if


I’d been the one at the wheel. I’ve been remembering

the scientist who stopped the car to pick up a vulture


carcass and brought it home to his freezer

as a fine specimen. A real shock for his wife

when she opened that door. I wonder if I


would react any better. I’ve been regretting

the dead deer, wishing I knew


butchery so the animal remains could be

put to use. I’ve been pondering cauterization

and how its hiss only takes away the danger


of bleeding out. I have avoided accidents so far.

The thing is, I don’t need to see one to imagine it:


the lights, the roar of the car barreling down

a once-safe road too fast for thought, for reaction.

I imagine to that animal it must have felt like


the future: vast, unstoppable, incomprehensible.



Gretchen Rockwell is a queer poet currently living in Pennsylvania. Xe is the author of the forthcoming microchapbooks Love Songs for Godzilla (Kissing Dynamite) and Thanatology (Ghost City Press); xer work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, FOLIO, Okay Donkey, Moonchild Magazine, and elsewhere. Find xer at or on Twitter at @daft_rockwell.





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