The less broken ones
crawl to the roadside and die.
In the night under inky clouds,
bright spears of headlights
point them out.
Unlike the ones whose forms
are smeared or stamped
on dashed center lines,
they are still whole—
fur largely unmatted,
or feathers lightly fluffed by wind.
Their limbs are often curled up,
slumbering against their chests,
their clenched eyes close out
whatever pain they felt.
They have ended
the fraught task of crossing
from one shoulder to another
between miles of fight and flight.
I search for them
when I drive down the highway,
and they are there always,
one after the next,
sleeping on their sides.