Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dani Couture


for Robert Earl Stewart

So many deaths that summer
that sometimes I showed up
and there was nothing more
than a stretch of empty road,
a flipped car, a body curled
up like a comma beneath a tarp.
Some passerby’s offering
of decency before leaving.
Last year’s final dressing —
dried deer blood and hair
still clinging to flapping edges
in hard heat, panting.
If it bleeds it leads, and
our ditches are brimming
The grid designed, if not
for nothing, to bring us
together. Every four-way stop
a lottery of indecision, a place
where first pages meet obituaries.
Either it’s something wrong
with the design, or it’s us.
For a year of college
midnights, I made seat belts:
the gentle shrug of poly webbing.
I’ve done my share of saving,
now only tuning in to the scanner
nightly, a redux of ten-codes:
the newspaper before it’s written.
The body propelled through
molared window, ejected.
We all have places to go.

Dani Couture is the author of the novel Algoma and the Relit-winning poetry collection Sweet, which was also nominated for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. She is the literary editor at THIS Magazine. She lives in Toronto.

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