Roseanne Carrara

Do not be surprised if, having been asked to perform

some service or ceremony, and flying from it, you

have your turn with curses. You pass a dead squirrel

or a pigeon, maybe, and you fail to place it in a bag

or to call the city to see if it might require additional

inspection by those schooled in disease. There will be

consequences for flying this or any other scene. You

might lose your voice in the time designated for singing,

or you might not recover just as quickly as you thought

from one of your more somber attitudes. Some day,

that dead body, as if alive and breathing, or its double

of a slightly different hue, might very well call you out

with its less-than-appealing lung-shot and give you the tumble

you have long been wanting, not just turning you off the path,

or dirtying your suit, but nice damage, concussing,

or even hollowing out your more mysterious eye.

At this point, it will be too late to return to the place

where you failed to perform your service. Why take

the chance that your own particular comeuppance

will be the lesser of these griefs, when you might spare

yourself entirely, by crossing yourself as you should,

whistling a brief requiem for the little vermin, or cursing

the sportsman or the gas company or the god who surely

planned this body’s fall from the tree beside your house?

This figure which stands for the last of its species, as any dead

body would, why not just take care of it at first with a tent-

fold of the morning news and a liberal fist of dirt?