Request

21 July 2003

On the same day
in the alley between
Westfield and my house
appear both a carburettor
and a large plastic bag
containing something rotting.
A strip of a child's face
also appears, between
two fence planks;
she asks me to move the bag.
When I look through I see
she is holding something wet
and oval in her hand.
It looks like a closed-shell mussel
in a coat of caramel hair.
A dog leaps around her bare legs;
the girl says she had to
take it from his mouth.

A week later
the bag has ripped open.
Inside is part of a dead animal.
Grey fur;
large, cleanly cut bones.

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