Photograph by David Rhei.

A Letter to All My Dead Animals

where have you been?
I’ve been in the desert.
I’ve been inside the skeleton
of a UFO that somebody abandoned here.
I’m almost onto my last shard of cacti
but I don’t mind. in the sand, I am just a black shape
rippling in yellow. I have sifted through
with my children’s shovel from Wal-Mart.
I’ve found animal bones, mostly birds.
mostly eye-sockets. black holes leading nowhere.
inside my UFO, I’ve collected and placed each one
inside a glass case, all lined up in order of arrival,
right next to the TV: it is always playing
a movie about rivers and the people who die in them
each year.

Delia Rainey is finishing her third year at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and is a poetry intern at The Missouri Review.