Dumb Beasts

Kathryn Smith


It is difficult to die or we die
too easily, stepping into traffic, letting

cancers consume our bones. Someone famous
will die today, and everyone will mourn

a man they didn't know. We're worth
what we show the world and not what

we hide. At the bus stop, Larry says,
"I hate to see that," as he points to a squirrel

flattened in the street. "They get confused,"
I say. A nod, an agreement. Something dies

every minute—beasts by the hundreds
while we're searching the discography

of the famous departed. Larry's worked
the same job fifty years and never missed a day.

Now that he's pointed out the dead squirrel,
I can't stop looking at it.