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Roadkill on the Way to Coffee

Zuzu Tadeushuk

Or, The Day Off:

There were two dead raccoons on

the road where I walk.

One was very fresh

hit last night, perhaps.

It terrified me

stepping over it. 

Scared that that eye 

might open and I’d have to do something about

a half life teetering on the brink,

and the shoulder of Rt. 45

for maybe many taut hours already.

Scared that 

that eye might twitch

and I’d fall flat in the road and be

run over too,

roadkilled on the way to coffee?

After all our petitioning there are still no sidewalks. 


~ ~


My god, starting so early.

At 19 already living a barnacled writing life?

But no—

the more years I can

squeeze out of writing, the more

exultant will be my dying self

somewhere far down the road, I hope. 

But hush, hush, I can’t

write about writing until

I’ve really done it—

somewhere not far down the road, I hope. 


~ ~



you’re complete

you’re complete

you’re complete

horse crap.

And now you’ve shocked yourself

with a whiff. 


~ ~


Everything’s out there and out 

there and out there

and poking.

I’m not out there,

I’m not public, 

I’m not fast.

why, why, why 

am I how I am?

I think we should all 

live on farms.


~ ~


With at little bit of salt

and much moments of 


I managed to 

piece together

this parcel of a poem. 

People always call works of art “pieces…”

Are they really so fragmented?

I’d like to make something whole


chase the last salty 

drop from my cheek,

feel renewed,


more than partially alive.


Not teetering on a brink,

not roadkill, no 

not I, not I.


~ ~


My nostrils trap 

the scent of coffee

as it slithers thickly back across the glimpsed full-moon

bottom of the cup

that I draw from my lips

and place on its whitey saucer

that shines in the diffuse cloud light. I’m at a terrace table.


And I am wearing

a creamy white sweater

like a blob

a burr

a cloud 

and my hair is how it is when I wake 

in the morning, in a poof,

and my face is round

and it is mine 

and my head is mine

and my hands are mine

and my knees are mine

and my shoes are mine- dear boots!-

on feet that are mine

and I am all just

feeling like me

once more.

And I am head to toe


and tranquil.

Watercolor and Gouache on Paper. Self Portrait, hydrating.