2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Bunny Guilt

Attic Graffiti.jpg
"Attic Graffiti" by Jeff Weiland

Bunny Guilt

Antonio Bouxa

I've always had a nose for transitions

Change leaves an impression in the air

An imprint of the dying

 

It is the opposite of petrichor

A rancid burning, like maggots

Struck by lightning

 

Like the maggots I found

Inside my utility closet

Dropping from an unfamiliar sack

That was once the body of a rabbit

 

It sounds like the soft and cautious

Movement of the body in the bedroom

You used to sleep in before you 

began spending your nights on the couch

 

The ominous scraping of rearrangement

Of heavy furniture that fills a space

Like the scent of death that has permeated

My basement stairs

 

I found it under some collapsed insulation

That came in from the ceiling where it

Must have fallen and been trapped

When no one had any reason to open that door

 

Like the doors kept closed now where

You could once look into every room

And breathe in the peaceful silence

Of a stable and peaceful stagnation

 

The doors you spend years slowly

Shutting, in case any of the corners

Housed a disruption you were unwilling

To confront. Until the final weeks

 

When you realized you hadn't opened them

In months and ran around the house

Birthing light unto the spiders

That had made home in the neglect

 

Like the scratching I heard the two weeks

Before I found the rabbit, but couldn't find

Where it was coming from, and believe that

It must have hidden when I checked

 

But maybe the rabbit also understood

The weight of change, and what can grow

Beyond a closed door, and maybe

The maggots deserved their feast as well

Antonio Bouxa is a Wisconsin writer and alumni of UW Platteville. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his 2 dogs, 4 cats, and 1 partner. His work has appeared in Aesthetica Magazine, Glass Mountain and The Driftless Review. His debut poetry collection Bone Soup is available at most major book sellers.

Jeff Weiland graduated from UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County in the 1980's and has always enjoyed photography.