Ever held a dead, lifeless body in your arms? Ever felt a living being transcend from life to death --livor mortis to rigor mortis-- Crying and convulsing you are lost and scared but you shouldn't be. It's broad daylight A school day for the children A work day for the adults An ordinary day in the world. Its a hard world. And a cat lies dead in your driveway... Is it dead? You shed a bundle of tears, Grabbing an old towel and rubber gloves, you slide them on your tear-sticky hands and reach out and touch the cat, the flies swarming. It is still warm. There is blood coming out of its mouth. You guess its been there less than 4 hours. Who would do such a thing? How did it die? Why? Why did this happen? Its a hard world. You call for help but no one is there. No one is going to come to remove the dead animal from your driveway... You pull out a black tarp, still crying, shaking Saying your prayers, knowing its too late You carefully scoop up the rigid body of the cat, Wrapped in the floral towel and lay it on the tarp. You fold the corners of the plastic over. Some flies escape. You shudder, sitting there on the stoop In the hot hot sun With a dead cat in your arms. Its a hard world. Its a fucked up world Where young girls have to pick up dead animals to dispose of them; the worse parts: seeing the body as you aprroached, its eyes wide open, feeling the weight of it, like a pet, like a baby, watching as its stomach no longer rises and falls with breath, hearing its fur and whiskers-stuck to the dried blood under its mouth- Rip off the hot bricks of the driveway. Just embracing the animal, holding it, wishing it could have cherished life a little longer... Its a hard, fucked up world.