Death of a Jack-Rabbit
Driving late night, or early morning, the long-distance thrum of
Soporific rhythm, high speed with heavy metal reassurance,
And warm in the comfort of the coming day, gently I
Rounded a rise, when suddenly in front of me weaving,
Crazy hip-hop drunken Jack Rabbit heaving,
A macabre flip-flop breakdance in the middle of my road.
Split-second that I saw him so, long, fatal ears
Flattened in a dervish-like, death-accepting run,
Time stretched, pulsated, to teach me of the killer and the killed;
In those long and anguished, torturous moments, I was the hare; the hare was me.
I knew the horror and the pity of the death to come, and felt
A cord of will tying me to him, and I being him – futile in that fumbling, stumbling run.
There seemed ample time to think – back in my own mind now – and I willed him to lie still;
Lie still, lie flat: don’t jump, to jump is certain death –
O let the body of the car hurtle bloodless over;
But yet I knew the hare would jump, would spring, and that death would come.
I could not swerve; I had been taught.
Time snapped elastic back with a muffled, heavy clunk – an unreasonable solidity
For a hare, too heavy, much too heavy, the weight, perhaps, of inevitability.
Was its an instant death? I think it was, all vital force crushed,
A bone-mashing instant extinguishing
Of everything that had been, once, sprung and coiled hare.
There is no comfort in trying to rationalise its death, and I will not say:
I killed a jack-rabbit on the road.
What I killed was greater, deeper, and when I ripped the body of the hare,
And unnerved my own mind, somehow the fabric of the world lay bare, exposed,
And I caught the merest glimpse of some connected soul.