Late Tableau at Roadside

Simple things in a brutal, simple light. The ravenous stray, bone sharp and snarling, as it pulls flesh off the side of the deer, buckling now. Down to its front knees. Down now, and doomed, its side crushed by the truck that skidded just minutes ago, and sped away, spraying gravel and trailing a flag of dust onward through the trees. Now another dog runs up out of the spurge. Both dogs—can they be said to smile?—snapping their teeth, growling as they eat, noses inside the living body, in the brutal, simple light.

David Baker

David Baker

David Baker’s books of poetry include Whale Fall (W. W. Norton, forthcoming in 2022), Swift: New and Selected Poems, (2019), and Never-Ending Birds (2009), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His six books of prose include Seek After: Essays on Modern Lyric Poets (2018) and Show Me Your Environment (2014). His individual poems and essays appear lately in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Yale Review.He lives in Granville, Ohio.
David Baker

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Author: David Baker

David Baker’s books of poetry include Whale Fall (W. W. Norton, forthcoming in 2022), Swift: New and Selected Poems, (2019), and Never-Ending Birds (2009), which won the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize. His six books of prose include Seek After: Essays on Modern Lyric Poets (2018) and Show Me Your Environment (2014). His individual poems and essays appear lately in such journals as American Poetry Review, The Atlantic, The Nation, New York Times, The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Yale Review. He lives in Granville, Ohio.