I cry for the coyote
dead in the road
his soft pink innards
splayed around him in a half-circle
his tawny furred form
lying precisely on the double-yellow lines
as if it landed on a bulls-eye

I cry for the coyote
and for myself
lost and whimpering
I keep thinking someone
will take my hand and show me
how to live this life
how to feel this torrent
but I keep being surprised and hurt
when they don’t
when they expect me to be a grown-up
and make grown-up choices
and bear the brunt of them

I cry for the coyote
I recognize his large body
from his patrolling behind my house
at the edge of the forest
last summer
on the uneven deer trail through the brush
causing the fur on my cat’s back
to stand on end
as she watched through the rectangular window
of the old wooden back door

I cry for the coyote
and for myself
for even as I step into
the tunnel of Light
my heart must break
to accomplish the task
even when I accept the infusion
of rainbow and mist
rich green leaves and stardust
there is a death at the same time

I cry for the coyote
and think wistfully of the warm day
he slunk low to the ground
stalking the fresh bloody meat
underneath the tortoise-shelled fur
of my heedless pet
a sharp clap of my neighbor’s calloused hands
saved her from those strong jaws
but deprived the beast of his dinner
one meal he never got to enjoy
one regret that never crossed his mind