We’re Killing The World, Aren’t We

Taryn Ziegler

 

It was an owl that I
drove past, creeping along
my single lane, glued
to cement and stone alone
in a vehicle swept by
a current of traffic, curling
and unfurling along the countryside
in its insidious patterns

Cutting swathes of human
flatness like scars into the
back of a terrible, wild
beast the trees line the
streets but stand at a distance,
watching
fearfully

It was an owl that lay splattered
by some hapless hunk of metal and
plastic, coughing deep coughs of exhaust

Every day I drive this tar scar holding to my lane, cranking the music, restraining myself from going completely insane under cloudy skies pregnant with rain hurtling forward like some sort of godforsaken train

Usually
It’s a racoon disemboweled, a possum
disavowed, a pigeon split down the
middle and, with its own innards,
festooned

But today it
was an owl
and,
shaken from my
human stupor, I
felt my eyes
prick with tears
and my heart seized
with the tree’s
fear

Then the person in front
of me rolled forward and
I, too,
carried on
leaving behind the owl as unremarkable
carrion

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