Good to be Lion.
Sleep between blood feasts.
Be called noble strictly on looks.
Better to be Lioness.
Work the kill.
Stand over it and let the babies feed.
Better to be Gazelle.
Lie there after heart busting run.
Be part of the chain.
Better to be Vulture.
Watch, float down, eat, survive.
Hang away from the others in a pack.
Best, of course, to be Bones.
Best as well to be Leavings.
No guilt except that of unwanted peace.
And as Bones, as Leavings,
best of all to be the Same
as Lion, Lioness, Gazelle, Vulture eventually.
Milltraces full of trash scratched into old ground
and the humps of old foundations nearby;
we lived among these all our young lives.
Everywhere, noticed but unremarked, were ruins left
by harder folk, and we didn’t think of them at all.
We hid among the rocks and smoked pot.
We pulled the last remaining rocks
from tumbled walls and built our own.
We lay inside the holes with one-night partners.
We didn’t think about them much at all.
Soon enough we watched them torn up
and replaced with silver concrete and vinyl walls.
We saw crazed and cracked roads paved to cover gravel ruts,
trees razed and clipped and torn to make room for shrubs.
We moved away and didn’t think about it much at all.
Some of us returned and bought the homes
built upon our one-night stands. Some of us
came back on holidays to shake our heads a bit.
Some of us miss a little of it, some miss a lot,
and some don’t think about it much at all.
Those few who stayed, who never left,
who would have been missed if they were gone,
kept faith with how the town endured.
We note them when we pass through as being harder folk.
They don’t think much of us at all.