open letter to the gray body of a bird on the side of business 40

i have seen a fox up close four times
in the same night. she was pacing
the asphalt like the trail that licks the lake
was built for her. she was focus and fear; imagine
her babies in the bushes behind her, hungry.


because geese are so aggressive i avoid them.
because alligators exist i don’t swim.


how can i reconcile the amount of blood i have consumed?
how can i scold my dog for her dirtied nose horsing through
the entrails of the smashed up frog on the sidewalk?
it is a small, indecent thing: my arched back
over her bath, keeping my own body outside the tub.

About Sally J. Johnson

Sally J. Johnson’s poetry and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in the Collagist, Bodega, Weave, and Everyday Genius. Her essay, “Teach My Body How To Behave” was a finalist for the Redivder Beacon Street Prize. She can also be found on Twitter and Tumblr.

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