You see them off highways marked
with carcasses of dead deer, eyes still open
tongues out, bemused by minuscule length
of their disposable meat lives.
Scattered wrecked holdouts along the back roads
that used to be the highways. Gutted,
flaking lead paint, buckled roof and doorways
with cataract windows. The thin scar of gravel
through tall grass like a fossilized snake
marks the ghost of a driveway.
I eye them on my drive home from
whatever crises I have lived each day.
I want to take the first exit, find my way
to the forgotten highway, follow that
scar of gravel as far as the snake allows,
wade through the cut grass and paintbrush,
survey the stone foundations fashioned by
hands now bone and dust,
step across the threshold like a widower groom,
breathe in the decay and old memories
like a wine snob in a goblet.
bask in the gutted solitude, weave your way
through rooms asunder, pick up broken dishes,
found objects waiting for human touch
once again. Take a seat on an unbroken chair
and watch the autumn sunset through a shattered pane,
listen to something crawl and chew within the walls,
only the insane
choose to not be hermits.
-Troy Schoultz, from Biographies of Runaway Dogs