Peter Kline

Hendecasyllabics for Robert Frost

                  Truth? A pebble of quartz?
                   —Robert Frost, For Once, Then, Something

VISIONS. Seventeen-pick-up-truck collisions
shot in hi-def. A timely perfect circle
rainbow bangling the starboard wing. Each dusk brings
boozy seafog to numinize the driveway.
Gimmicks; tricks of the light. So it’s no wonder
we (if ever we give out full attention)
stare the images into pixilation.
     Driving once through the desert past Loreto,
flame-tipped Palo Adán and white-faced ospreys
speed-blurred in the arroyos, I saw something
so unlikely I had to see it closer,
get it right to the light. It looked so strangely
miniature—like a petting zoo delinquent.
Weeks of summer had cured the flesh from maggots,
though, of course, it was dead: a bighorn yearling.
Someone (Who?) had arranged its hind- and forelegs
prancingly, so its jaunty hooves seemed almost
ice-fringed, cantering moonward off a rooftop…
Bungee cords double-looped around a signpost
strung it up like a totem. Teenage mischief?
Common cruelty? A sleeps-with-fishes message?
Someone killed it, or found it dead and lucky,
with publicity. Anyone could see it.