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Poem: Dialogue with a Dead Beaver

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Dialogue with a Dead Beaver

I did not know what you were

in the tall weeds until I saw

the incisors in your jaw and what

remained of your paddle of tail.

Black, all black, even your bones.

In my weeds by the road I am black.

I wanted to believe that a hundred

yards down the road from the spot

where you were hit, a car swerved

straight into a deep ditch,

felled by a gash in one of the tires.

You want to believe I kill what kills me.

I wanted to say that your smell

was the smell of rich, black earth

from which a miraculous tree

would grow someday, a tree that

would grow again and again

endlessly as it was endlessly felled.

My smell is black. My flies are black.

—J. R. Solonche

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