To the Dead Man in the Road
by Sara Clancy
Every summer in Tucson this happens,
a hazard of heat that greases the equation
of whiskey and asphalt and gives us permission
to suspend comprehension as we drive by.
We wonder at the obstruction,
as if you are roadkill, an unlucky coyote
looking for water in the jewel box
of the afternoon. Until we recognize the rumple
of clothing, the perverse angle of limbs
in the wash by El Camino del Cerro and skid
to the shoulder to call 911.
In the morning we trawl the paper
for an outcome, your name, an arrest,
the family notified, a donation in lieu of flowers
but find nothing — our curiosity
no better than a hook into the sad
anatomy of your wounds.
Sara Clancy graduated from the writer’s program at the University of Wisconsin long ago. Among other places, her poems have appeared in The Madison Review, Teemings, Houseboat and Owen Wister Review. She lives in the Desert Southwest with her husband, their dog and a 20 year old goldfish named Darryl.