Elegy for the roadkill foxes
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I collected your sightings
like chestnuts palmed at the park,
smooth, warm spheroids
made alien in the expanse of my black-mittened hand.
One, two, three, noted
and forgotten, until the next time would come
that I saw foxes dead in the road.

One that sprawled by the crossing
would jerk as cars churned past,
a puppet tugged by fishhooks
with engine-breeze rustling your fur
not yet matted, though your stomach
birthed entrails onto the tarmac.

It was always from a distance,
or else a glimpse from a car window,
a split-second of intimacy from which to grieve
and then gone. A-road, motorway,

the graceful, tight-wound violence of your gait
now preserved in the way you decay,
slowly dissolving to black gunk and tufts
of departing fur, creeping, predatory, malignant,
towards nothingness, as if you could hunt
death, scavenge scraps of remembrance
from the overflowed tip of this city,

and the next day you are gone.
Thrown in a skip
to rejoin your ersatz food chain
from the bottom up.

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