The Sandhills were fixed in ice.
The buckwheat chaffs looked breakable,
like the fletching of a glass arrow
or a mouse’s contorted skeleton, housed
within an owl pellet. The night before,
we caught a possum in a plastic bucket,
under the house’s cement foundation.
The foundation was cracked from years of scale
and thaw. Aunt Carol handed me your .22,
so I put a bullet behind its ear, then cleaned
the gun. I used solvent and a swatch of linen,
just how you showed me that summer.
Because the world was so bright,
we were late to your funeral. We kept running
off the road. When the possum thawed,
and mealworms ate their way out, I looked
through the window they’d opened
in its gut and a litter looked placidly back.