On impact

On impact

When they said it was immediate, ‘on impact,’
no pain, I thought about the folded seagull,
wings crumpled, spineless and crack-necked;
the fox, all shades of red, splayed and flattened,

paws adrift in a tarmac sea, tail roaming,
and the rabbit whose fur caught clammy, nose
still twitching with the rush of each passing car;
the stag’s eyes bulging before the collision,

the crooked antlers, the creased bonnet;
the cat – a family pet that buried its small head
into my lap, stayed routed in my stomach
for days afterwards, and I thought about you –

the man, who was a boy, who wore round glasses,
nasal, always breathing through his mouth,

Photo by Rudi Strydom on Unsplash