What brought me to the window was the reek
no other beast gives off, that fetid waft of ire
or death, the fumed upshot of violence.
What kept me––not the carcass in the road––
were two skunks rolling over grass, folding
into wheels of fur that spun like liquid
in the dark. They didn’t move from their dead.
And this, I thought, was why they’d come
together, two marbles, now one globe
turning striped geographies.
When my father died, my mother
threw herself on his coffin. As it was being
lowered in the ground, my brother
kicked a tree. I stepped back and held myself
knowing no one ever would.