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Wandering Knife
Jack Snyder

To red-dead spilling of  


now broken asphalt some poor worker will have to  


erase the tragedy of this spot. I will erase the blood of 


that deer we hit one winter’s evening, that deer that  

tossed his body into the car and promptly mangled himself 

against two tons of steel. I don’t care for how he 

stared at us, still after the clean-up like 


when that coyote attacked you, ripped your flesh 

from bone. Just as unconcerned as testing a knife’s  


edge with seat belt nylon. How hard you really have to cut 

to clear those two inches of black denial, to save someone’s 

soul. And I can’t help  


remembering how 


when their life was already gone, and we were soaked  

in the juices of animal-existence. Oh, how could we have  

ended his life! We could not save him, so I ended his life 

with my cool blade, that horrible blood-wand. And I watch the  


rotor-blades spinning toward the heavens, sucking up  

the lost souls into another mechanical brutality: the  


cars, now airborne. Forever crashing into everything,  

everywhere, at all times. This forever-grief, this forever-blood. 

All my forever-thoughts,  


dashed against a darkness bearing rock. To a screech  

so inhuman it can only come from a wounded animal,  


is what I think, this deer is only wounded. He will be fine.  

As we push him from the side of the road to branch-laden  

forest floor to 


steady my hand through clawing fingers, slick with blood and grime and tears,  


like you steadied yourself after the blood loss. I can only imagine  


the pain and the suffering. 

Jack Snyder (he/they) is a process–based philosopher, poet, artist, and cryptid from the Southern California wilderness. His work interrogates contentment, identity, love, belief, authenticity, faith, normativity, and other philosophical themes in a natural setting. When not outdoors, he appreciates music, food, and drink in relation. Thus Jack’s quandary and thirst drive him challenging places. He hopes he will drive you there also.

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