Life on the road isn’t always living

Passing by the house in stilted motion
(front left tyre flat, the car chugging
forward like a girl with one broken heel)

we set about making our own signs
of respect. Hats off, hands swinging around
a cross, collars grasped, whatever

we’d been taught to do at the sight of death.
At the site always marked by pools
of apostrophes waiting at thresholds:

ticking against door frames and windowsills,
the mass of cockroaches hiding each
cockroach in their collective mourning.

Whoever the dead might be
behind the mosquito net, laid out
on the kitchen table, their skin

was obscured to our glances. Except,
between blind slats and curtain,
those may have been breasts beneath

the blanket of bones from every animal
that died because of that body: road-kill
and other tokens from along the way.