Roadkill, 1.B.2, 300 words

From a distance human remains are unmistakable. Even strewn, even transmogrified, skinless, fleshless, they strike a proportion and possess an inalienable composition. Far down across the small rocks and into the salt a man and his clothes are heaped. Twill stops his breathing to speak quietly from the road. “Sir.” The moonlight haunts the chalk sufficiently to find his way back yet he goes no more than halfway and returns to the road not looking back. In the distance and in the dark familiar forms abound. The valley disappears behind him. Twill stops far up from a man now prostrate across the chalk road. The moonlight makes out a leg folded up towards the shoulder, the head folded onto the back, as if he had been ground out of the mountain rocks. “Sir.” A collar point waves up in the breeze. Twill approaches. The outed flaps of the man’s get-up flicker and flit with the soft breathing sound of a flag waving on down the road ‘neath the toothless crunch of his steps. A man’s face, even absent its face, a crater only, or a shade, still haunts like a brother who might look back yet, speak back yet. This was a pillow, a mop, a mess of rope, and a pile of large cans. More folks crouch along the soft shoulder folded in more baggy poses. Each ruin he approaches near the road he kneels to yet nobody there leisures. Each longingly looks like a man from a distance. He draws up but a misshapen canvas bag, further down the undone pad from an armchair, or a crumple of carpet tacked with contact cement to horns of linoleum. He says a line, something understated, doubtless in letters that don’t interrupt a breath, “Hi,” or “Ahoy,” but does not stop.

Critical Response:

« | »