‘My Cousin Dies, Like a Deer, On the Side of the Road’

“The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is asking for help from the public in the investigation of a fatal hit-and-run crash that resulted in the death of a pedestrian on FM 160 east of FM 2830. The crash occurred at approximately 11:00 p.m., Sunday June 14.” Bluebonnet News

You must have been a thing of beauty:
among the hoots, clicks, whistles of swamp-
land dark, then spotlighted, machina-
flung, crescent body, eclipsing, rising—
nyxnaut—occluding white pores in velvet
night nap. Such silence                           all listening
to the luminous staccato, 270 bones, rapturous
vibrato, soul—too long in marrow—released.

No one knows when to applaud.


This poem appears in the March/April 2021 issue of the Texas Observer. Subscribe now or pitch us your poetry here.

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C. Prudence Arceneaux, a native Texan and the author of Dirt, teaches creative writing at Austin Community College.

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