His death is a ligature, the joining of many deaths. Like children dancing around a maypole, when I look at one death, I look at all possible deaths. When I pull on one death, all other deaths tighten. When one death falls down, all other deaths fall down around the first
death. When I say Death to my mother, her eyes close. When I say Death to her, she folds
up like an accordion. When I play a death song on my accordion-mother, it is always a low sound, each key a low key until she turns into a wolf I have to let go. When I speak Death
to my wolf-mother, she howls. When my wolf-mother howls, my knees fall to the ground. When I say Death to my wolf-mother, she turns from me and runs.
He died in a taxidermist’s shop. He tripped in the supply room, he fell onto pelts and hooks. It took all three of us to raise him from the floor. We saw in him such possibility. His toothy smiles that couldn’t be believed. His sad eyes, their sharp glint. We fashioned mirrors into
two glass beads. We picked through bins of pearl and opal for his teeth. We cut clumps of cotton for the words he spoke, we strung them from his mouth with wire. We pulled his spine out through his throat, we stuffed him full with feathers. In his stomach we found fish eyes, tiny bones, pieces of rabbit. We each took a trophy for ourselves. Without a wall mount, we hoisted him into a tree to see what we had done.