we had a water-logged dog
and six chickens
on the road to
burly country men, button-downed,
who bought us shots in Nashville.
we laughed, the levees held,
the morning felt like an index finger
tapping on the wet window
and then the whole wall
was in my mouth.
I don’t really remember
the popped tire,
just the trail of the boat in rearview,
swerving like it would have in waves,
feathers from the truck bed like plumes
decorating our exodus,
some barking, some talking,
some memories of the river,
at peace, in its past afternoons.
I remember: the faint feel of spent revel,
the frayed edges of wet shreds.
when you kill a chicken by decapitation
it really does run
ten feet up
spurting blood from its neckspout
onto your mother’s window
and the neighbors’ fenceposts,
but you have to let it go,
can’t hold it down for those last
fleeting flying fighting moments.
never tie my dog up before he dies;
he needs to face east.
and bury me at sea.
fish have no memories.