The pickup lumbered through the gravel into the yard,
a dome scraped bald by the riding mower, trees pressing
in around it, flamingo sky pushed up. He scrambled
out and around to the back, where, stuffed into a cage,
was a groundhog. I hadn’t seen one this close before.
They are mounds, sturdy and plain. The fur of one leg mauled
by the metal teeth, the muscle shone tight, exposed. The
groundhog had pinned its face to the corner. “Look what I
found,” Bob winked. Two deft shakes and it thunked hard to the earth.
The dogs, set loose from their dull chains, angled in, roaring.
This was the year we slept over, his sister and I
circling our eyes with liner, confessing how we touched
ourselves—the year she said, inky eyes blooming, “I wish
you were a Catholic. I don’t want you to go to hell.”