Who’d have thought she’d lay plastered on an asphalt death bed next to downtown
high rises & the No. 5 bus route? Her silvery armor — the skin of the moon.
Underbelly still warm, eyes like fish blink. Who said
armadillo would never scurry north? How little they knew about longing for flesh
and home. In their shiny bone coats our mammal brethren are slinking to Louisville,
Detroit, Saskatoon. At night they are slow
marching down alleys and side streets toward the Jersey Shore. Hungry, they sniff
at everything in sight; they point their long snouts in the direction of the dark blue
curve of the mesosphere and beyond to Larissa, the rubbly
misshapen fifth moon of Neptune. We are lost in the matrix of tablet and phone.
Meanwhile, in the grid of earth, oceans boil into storms. Rooftops in Barbuda drift
on storm surge like sailboats. Last year a brindled
coyote lurched down Lindell Avenue, screaming like a famished infant. I opened
the door anticipating a human, but there she was sizing me up like a bench judge.
Her cold stare like a funeral pyre.
Linda Bryant is a poet and journalist who lives in Berea, Kentucky, where she runs Owsley Fork Writers Sanctuary. She has been published in literary journals including Courtship of Winds, Whirlwind Review, Gateways, Serving House Journal, and Willawaw Journal. Bryant has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and has won two national fellowships for her writing.