Unstill Life, with Fox

Jon Cannon Click to

I teach environmental law at the University of Virginia School of Law and live in the country, near trails. Publications include Environment in the Balance (Harvard 2015); “April in Keystone Heights, FL,” About Place Journal (Vol. 4, Issue III May 2017); and “Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, and U.S. Environmentalism,” William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.

Tandem axle semis blow up
29, headlights parting night
imperiously as Moses the Red Sea.
Yellow LEDs festoon the cabs
but dark hides the eyes

I catch the ragged thrum
propounded through the asphalt
that connects us momentarily
in parade — their hearts my heart:
mechanical beat with faint
metallic ring.

The “barbarous traveler”
tramps its own highways.
Not on my radar; eyes
and words can’t reach.
Snap of a deer rib in the frigid dark?
I can’t be sure

what happens next, and worry
that the intersection will be
here — its glittering sign extended
as it meets this world and crosses
again into its separate night
or misses, its inmost secrets

spilled, heart smudged on major artery
scuffed fur ruffled by the indifferent tide.