The raccoon would not be moved easily, then,
its skin too far gone, all fish and sinew, pinned
behind the farthest bunker on the field. Children
turned around the animal like meat grinders, their faces
red with snow, their hearts beating, rotating
with the orbit, drunk on the animal’s daze and hiss.
Gray eyes, gray foam, gray paws—
all covered with the decay of snow.
I watched you and the gun,
the blade and the metal. Your eyes
shrank to the size of pupils
until it seemed the earth had fired, until
the animal had become something less.
Melted snow. The smaller bodies drifted out
to the edge of the field like stars, ready
to become red, too, in their supernova, in the animal’s
quick loss of matter. Your eyes and shoulders returned
like reproducing particles.
And then the earth returned:
beneath the red, a line of grass