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High Mass for Road Kill

*After the headlights, Jessica opened her eyes and lifted, through clouds, to the country of her ancestors. Judith Nangala Crispin

My internal lack of compass is pointing southwest where it always has for healing to Coyote Country, to where land listens like a fox to what can’t be heard: that kind of setting sun in a tale of what orange was in the mouth of red Fractured in all four directions, I’m wind the colour of stamped out campfire and I have to use wings I didn’t know I had to walk unearthly blue crutches are the clouds I fly a catching, just enough for a dream, like marshmallows and I’m seven again an unscathed saint seeing oracle in ash, a bright of spread feathers sort of hopping. I’m the Un-socketed Beloved, Frankenstein girl, my pelvis unidentifiable to any forensics on this side of forever I stop for road kill all my miles going into the tender pick up of carcass I hear the regrets of foxes slow as clouds and of possums ringed with kisses in trees she couldn’t hold onto, of her young in cats’ mouths. So surprised like I just turned eight and all the crushed bodies on roads have to do with me, the blood, the tin house never a home. My intestines have driven far into my ribs over the double white lines of gone and you. My heart is where my tongue should be so this is the tongueless heart should-have-been tongue song of un-killed road and of me walking on it with wings I haven’t worked out yet folding in all dead bodies like mine, those precious smashed prayers, those beads of sweat underneath my strange umbrella bent back in unforgiving wind I speak mercy that you’re not fluent in Me, the blind triple monk with no shoes and no robe, weathering the weather of those un-weather-able featherweights, all those leather satchel Beloveds with silver buckles, souls full of the smells of whatever love smelled like and aftershave. All this I carry across unfindable thresholds, doors like speakeasies appearing only if you know the alleyway, and the right criminal or is it cop love never knows. ANNE WALSH

*After the headlights, Jessica opened her eyes and lifted, through clouds, to the country of her ancestors. Lumachrome glass print, cliché verre (cropped and framed)


FOR MORE - Poems by women and non-binary poets:

- Meditations on Melancholy by Anne M Carson

- Define Easy by Arielle Cottingham

- A Binary Question -by Kylie Supski

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