red-deer-1913 Roadkill
by Alegria Imperial

“Big brown eyes,” the driver gushes. He and an off-duty friend have been trading roadkill stories. I stop breathing over an image of a girl stunned by his brake lights. But instead, he talks of Bambi that danced into the haze. Now, I want to intrude into his cove though I’m no driver—I’m just a thief. And so, while my bus mates recede into their inner ears, I rise and pick up the limp fawn, and squeeze my heat, my passions, rages, regrets, and hungers into its breast. The sun now bursts out of and then, rushes back in on the windshield. A mile off, the bus sighs as its doors open. Eyes turn to me as on four legs, I slink from my seat to get off. Behind me the driver and his off-duty mate gush, “Big brown eyes.”

map of the world
only on top soil

IMAGE: “Red Deer” by Franz Marc (1913).


Alegria Imperial
has written a gamut forms that include news and feature stories, press releases, advertising copy, radio, TV and documentary scripts, exhibit texts, and recently, a weekly column in a business paper in Manila. Poetry took over her life eight years ago when she stumbled on haiku. Transformed since into what she must have always been, her surreal sense also welled up—quite a disjunctive development in Japanese short poetry form. She tries to tamp down her tendency to push the form but it wells up no matter. For her, nothing seems what it seems. Another life always lurks behind, what to most, is just this or that as in her haibun “Roadkill.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: Taken in July 2014, an accidental selfie against a wall—I wanted to take a pic of graffiti—while waiting for the green light on Seymour and Richard Streets in downtown, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Later photoshopped, it turned into someone I can’t name.