A nature film

Yellow kitty lifts its head from two months dead deer,
face smeared red. Looks at me and my dog and I at it
and my dog and my dog at it and me, a triangle

of hunger at the bottom of the wash. Two months dead deer
was poorly shot by a hunter. I found it with the red gate
of its jaw flapping strange, called the sheriff

and led him through Thanksgiving snow and dark,
flashlight a moon at my feet, to slug the brain
of an animal that would never eat again. What you do here

is drag dead deer to the road for the county
to scoop up, but I have this idea that everything wants
and deserves to flow back into the whoknows and so roped

and tugged two months dead deer here, where a bowl
I think of as a palm has been carved by water into land
that is itself a slow kind of going. And now, in a warm spell

after a cold hex, after crows and vultures have come
with their disassembling squawks and flies, hundreds of,
thousands of, have swarmed their squirming shadow

into the shape of the corpse, this itsy bitsy lion
nuzzles deep in stench that is meal. Which is the ceremony
I wanted to watch, a city boy's attempt at honor,

to attend the vanishing down to the crowning tooth
a hard rain will tumble away, into the West Branch
of the Roanoke, still full of last night's thunderous sky,

wide and brown in its running and rippling tune,
as we leave yellow kitty, little cuddly yellow kitty,
to close its eyes and tear into the fetid more.

– bob hicok