He came at night or in the early hours,
we were never sure. Always
it was morning when we found
the bag glowing white, his mark
his gift, his signal left
in the path
by the road.
He had his rituals, was
tidy in his way, the white bag tied
neatly at the top, as if it were garbage
from a picnic, or a bag of clothes
he meant to give away.
You would not know the bag was bursting
with body parts, until a coyote
or someone’s dog ripped open
the white plastic, spilling out deer guts
and viscera, the “lights” now
True, sometimes a leg
was left sticking through
the top, the dainty black toes en pointe
like a ballerina, but otherwise
the bag held secrets.
The need to show off was what scared me,
Who we wondered, would bag up body parts,
drive them here? Would I know him
if I met him at the store?
Each fall I’d find a deer shot
and left, head bent back
in the ellipse of death, tongue grey and swollen
ribs half gone, chewed out by coyotes.
Each day a little more would disappear until
a scatter of bones, white fluff of fur were all that marked