by Grace McGovern

Three days ago I found a bunny lying dead on the side of the road
and felt helpless as I passed
It wasn’t your typical roadkill, all mangled and bloody and red red red
piles and miles and pools of red
No, the bunny lay down in the snow like you do for a nap on the couch after work
your hair blown out behind you as though the wind had just finished curling it
your hands cradling the air in front of you with love
your chest rising and falling like the sun and the moon in the sky
millions and trillions and zillions of hours and days and lifetimes passing by while I
stood transfixed
To see the little balled up thing decomposing there, looking as though it would wake
any second,
the whole thing seemed endlessly wrong.

It was as though God himself had made a mistake
drawn his swift hand of justice down a bit too far too the left
missed the mark
just grazing the grey little thing in pursuit of a far more deserving victim
But no matter the intent
he petrified her on the spot
as she dreamed on the sidewalk
In penance he reached his clumsy hands down soft as he could, though they shook
and the sky rumbled with his tears, fat and hot and fierce, washing over us all
and he lay that little bunny down, with her paws clasped before her gentle eyes
curled her legs up just the same, as though she reached for some imaginary warmth
her face he made calm and he made clear and he made void of fear
and he blessed her to stay like this
in serene sleep
for all to see

I saw that bunny the day after that and the day after that
just as perfect as before
I’d anticipate it, a morbid fascination that made guilt clog up my every pore
feel my heart race in preparation, feel pin needle tears prickle my nose
then the moment would come, the same as before, always the same as before,
as I let my step slow, let abstract ruminations on loss and youth and death and grief
fill in every crack in my mind
Every day I would walk by, and feel that same whirlwind of everything and nothing 

Until on the fourth day, she was gone
no imprint in the snow, no trace of fur
Gone just as cleanly and mysterious
as she had come in

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