Roads diminish and clarify. People disappear.
The skunk is just being himself on the edge of the dark sidewalk.
On a certain night even he can see the dog-star.
Not shaking off the weather. All last summer the stooped old lady
laid her traps and could not flush him out of hiding. All summer
I spent mornings freeing trapped squirrels and possums
before the noon sun dehydrated them. She never came out
to see and neither did the skunk in her crawlspace. Now, crossing
the road, he looks up to the house as if remembering
or as if seeing through walls and latticework: here’s a place
I could make a home beneath. Here is a place I can depart
and come back to. A place I can impart the secret:
How to disappear but never leave. How to settle in
when all you will do at this age is preparation for leaving.
I would kneel with you any hour and pray to find that place.
If we wait long enough the wind will move the invisible aside.